Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 754

SOFT SOIL ENGINEERING

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

BALKEMA Proceedings and Monographs


in Engineering, Water and Earth Sciences

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

PROCEEDINGS OF THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOFT SOIL


ENGINEERING, VANCOUVER, CANADA, 46 OCTOBER 2006

Soft Soil Engineering


Editors

Dave Chan
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

K. Tim Law
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University,
Ottawa, Canada

LONDON / LEIDEN / NEW YORK / PHILADELPHIA / SINGAPORE

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Copyright 2007 Taylor & Francis Group plc, London, UK


All rights reserved. No part of this publication or the information contained herein may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, by
photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written prior permission from the publisher.

Although all care is taken to ensure the integrity and quality of this publication and the information herein,
no responsibility is assumed by the publishers nor the authors or editors for any damage to property or
persons as a result of operation or use of this publication and/or the information contained herein.
Published by: Taylor & Francis/Balkema
P.O. Box 447, 2300 AK Leiden, The Netherlands
e-mail: Pub.NL@tandf.co.uk
www.taylorandfrancis.co.uk/engineering, www.crcpress.com

ISBN13: 978-0-415-42280-2

Printed in Great Britain

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Table of Contents
Preface

XI

Organizing Committee

XIII

Keynote papers
Stability analysis accounting for macroscopic and microscopic structures in clays
K.Y. Lo & S.D. Hinchberger

Soft soil stabilisation with special reference to road and railway embankments
B. Indraratna, C. Rujikiatkamjorn, V. Wijeyakulasuriya, M.A. Shahin & D. Christie

35

Modelling and numerical simulation of creep in soft soils


P.A. Vermeer, M. Leoni, M. Karstunen & H.P. Neher

57

Experimental study on shear behavior and an improved constitutive model of saturated sand
under complex stress condition
M. Luan, C. Xu, Y. He, Y. Guo, Z. Zhang, D. Jin & Q. Fan

73

Embankment and dams


Sensitivity analysis of magnetic extensometers for measuring vertical movement
of earth dams on soft soils
R.J. Chenari

95

Building an embankment with simultaneous vacuum loading


B.T. Wang & K.T. Law

105

Failure of a column-supported embankment over soft ground


W.M. Camp III & T.C. Siegel

117

Performance of highway embankments on Bangkok clay


S. Apimeteetamrong, J. Sunitsakul & A. Sawatparnich

123

Geogrid-reinforced roadway embankment on soft soils: A case study


R. Vega-Meyer, R.S. Garrido, A.R. Piedrabuena, I.N. Larios & R.P. Lapuente

129

Monitoring the staged construction of a submerged embankment on soft soil


W.F. Van Impe, R.D. Verstegui Flores, J. Van Mieghem, A. Baertsoen & P. Meng

139

Optimal design of grillage supporting structures for stabilizing slopes


Y. Zhu & Y. Zhou

145

Measured settlements of the Srmin high embankment


P. vanut, M.R. Turk & J. Logar

153

Joint calculation of a foundation and soil of the large-scale


structure in view of creep
S. Aitalyev, N. Ter-Emmanuilyan, T. Ter-Emmanuilyan & T. Shmanov

159

Foundation
Pile resistance variations over time for displacement piles in young alluvium
A.A. Hanifah, M.N. Omar, N.F.A. Rahman & T.K. Ong

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

171

Group effect on model piles under axial monotonic loading


A.L. Kouby, J. Canou & J.C. Dupla
2D numerical modeling of Pile-net composite foundation of high-speed
railway embankment in soft soils
J.-D. Niu, L.-R. Xu, B.-C. Liu & D.-W. L

179

189

Study on the influence of pile foundation due to excavation


Y. Zhang, J. Zai & K. Qi

199

Study on long-term settlement behavior of driven pile foundation in soft soil


H.-B. Zhou, Z.-C. Chen & N.-F. Hong

205

Analyzing the static tests of boring piles through CFA technology


A.Zh. Zhusupbekov, Y. Ashkey, V.N. Popov, A.J. Belovitch & G.A. Saltanou

213

Large scale experiment and case study


Design and performance of a combined road-channel-dike structure founded on very
soft Bangkok clay
P. Boonsinsuk

219

Improvement of a very soft dregded silty clay at the port of Valencia (Spain)
M. Burgos & F. Samper

231

Study of geosynthetic reinforced subgrade expressway in Taiwan


S.-J. Chao

237

A study on dynamic shear modulus ratio and damping ratio of recently deposited soils
for southern region of Jiangsu province along Yangtze River, China
G.-X. Chen, X.-Z. Liu & D.-H. Zhu

245

Investigations on improvement of soft ground treated by various vertical drains


under embankment on soft clay foundation
H.I. Chung & J. Yu

251

Static and seismic stability of geogrid reinforced-soil segmental bridge abutments


constructed on soft-soil
K. Fakharian & I.H. Attar

257

Geotechnical behavior of organic soils of North Sarawak


S.R. Kaniraj & R.R. Joseph

267

Behavior characteristics of unreinforced and reinforced lightweight soils


Y.-T. Kim & H.-J. Kim

275

A case study of building damage risk assessment due to the multi-propped deep excavation
in deep soft soil
S.-J. Lee, T.-W. Song, Y.-S. Lee, Y.-H. Song & J.-K. Kim

281

Study on jackup spudcan punch-through


C.F. Leung, K.L. Teh & Y.K. Chow

291

Apparent earth pressure of soft soils overlying hard bedrock at South Link in Stockholm
J. Ma, B.S. Berggren, P.-E. Bengtsson, H. Stille & S. Hintze

299

Performance of stone column encased with geogrids


S.N. Malarvizhi & K. Ilamparuthi

309

Strength distribution of soft clay surround lime-column


A.S. Muntohar & J.-L. Hung

315

The investigation of mud tailings and a comparison of different test methods


with 3rd world constraints
W. Orsmond

VI

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

321

A geotechnical data base development and applying data mining techniques to extract
the common trendes of offshore geotechnical properties of South Pars
Gas Field/Persian Gulf IR-IRAN
H. Shiri GJ. & M.H. Pashnehtala
Inaccurate interpretation of offshore geotechnical site investigation results and risk
associated: A case study of conductors collapse in driving
H. Shiri GJ. & B. Molaei

327

333

Behaviour of plate anchors under short-term cyclic loading


S.P. Singh & S.V. Ramaswamy

341

Dissipation process of excess pore water pressure caused by static pressed pile in soft soil
W. Wang, J. Zai & T. Lu

347

Research on control of settlement and stabilization of high subgrade beside


hill and above soft foundation in Wenzhou expressway
H.-L. Yao, Y.-Q. Zhou, Z. Lu & Q. Zhou
Engineering performances of soil disturbed by underground mining and its application
G.-Y. Yu, P. Sheng & L.-B. Wang

351
357

Material behaviour
Compressibility properties of reconstituted organic soils at Khulna Region of Bangladesh
M.R. Islam, M. Alamgir & M.A. Bashar

367

Temperature effects on engineering behaviour of soft Bangkok clay


D.T. Bergado, H.M. Abuel-Naga & A. Bouazza

373

Discharge capacity of vertical drains installed in soft ground with time


by laboratory small and large tests
H.I. Chung, Y.S. Lee & Y.M. Park

381

Study of preconsolidation pressure values derived by the modified Casagrande method


I.N. Grammatikopoulos

385

Modeling sand behavior in constant deviatoric stress loading


R. Imam & N. Morgenstern

389

Identification of a general poro-viscoelastic model of one-dimensional consolidating soft soil


C.J. Leo

397

Characterisation of peat using full flow penetrometers


N. Boylan & M. Long

403

Experimental study of ageing effect on the undrained shear strength of silty soil
M. Ltifi

415

New relationships to find the hydraulic conductivity and shear wave velocity of soft Pusan clays
K.G. Rao & M. Suneel

421

Geotechnical characteristics of a very soft dredged silty clay and a soil-cement mix
in Valencia Port (Spain)
M. Burgos & F. Samper

427

Consolidation behavior of a soft clay composite


A.P.S. Selvadurai & H. Ghiabi

437

Laboratory testing of a soft silty clay


H. Ghiabi & A.P.S. Selvadurai

447

Effect of heating on pore water pressure of soft bentonite


A.N. Sinha & O. Kusakabe

457

VII

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Undrained strength and compressibility of mixtures of sand and coal


C. Stamatopoulos & A. Stamatopoulos

463

The assessment of destructuration of Bothkennar clay using bender elements


J. Sukolrat, D. Nash, M. Lings & N. Benahmed

471

Softening characteristics of soil cement on the condition of soaking


C.-J. Yin, X.-H. Wang & S.-C. Ma

481

Progressively destructurated undrained strength of natural soils


C. Zhou

485

Numerical modelling and theoretical development


Numerical modeling of interaction between flexible retaining wall and saturated
clayey soil in undrained and drained conditions
A.M. Bazrafshan & A. Pak

493

Numerical modeling for ground settlement due to two-tunnel shielding construction


Y. Bian, F. Zhuo, Y. Zhu & X. Ji

499

Numerical modeling of an embankment on soft ground improved by vertical rigid piles


O. Jenck, D. Dias & R. Kastner

505

Numerical simulation of passively loaded piles adjacent to embankment constructed


on soft Bangkok clay
R. Katzenbach & S. Pokpong

515

Three dimensional nonlinear finite element analyses for horizontal bearing capacity
of deeply-embedded large-diameter cylindrical structure on soft ground
Q. Fan, M. Luan & Q. Yang

521

Numerical modelling of a very soft dredged silty clay improvement in Valencia port (Spain)
F. Samper & M. Burgos

531

Slope stability and landslide


A new method for slope stability analysis of foundation pit due to groundwater seepage
G. Chen, C. Li & Y. Fan

541

A simplified method for stability analysis of reinforced embankments


Y.H. Chen, T. Zhang, X.H. Ma, Y.Q. Zhou, M.J. Gao & C.C. Gu

547

Stability analysis of expansive soil slope and its slope remedeations


R.Q. Huang & L.Z. Wu

553

Determination of non-circular critical slip surface by harmony search algorithm in


slope stability analysis
L. Liang, C. Shichun & Y.M. Cheng

557

Simple critical state model predicting the response along slip surfaces
C. Stamatopoulos

563

The other soil parameters in stability limit analysis of soil-nailed walls in soft soil
Y. Yang

573

Soil improvement
Centrifuge study on assessment of geological barrier of soft ground with floating type sand drains
B.L. Amatya, J. Takemura, T. Ashida & O. Kusakabe
The use of dynamic compaction in liquefaction hazards mitigation at reclaimed lands in Assalouyeh
petro-chemical complex-Iran
S.S. Yasrobi & M. Biglari

VIII

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

581

587

Optimization of strength and ductility of Class C fly ash stabilized soft subgrade soils
S. Bin-Shafique, A. Senol, C. Benson & T. Edil

595

Stabilization of soft clay site for development using Rammed Aggregate PiersTM
W. Sheu, E.M. Vlaeminck, B.T. FitzPatrick & J. Bullard

601

Improvement of soft soils by static SCP using a hydraulically-operated rotary penetration


R. Shiozaki, K. Uehara, S. Ikenoue, K. Ookori, Y. Umeki, M. Mori & M. Fukue

611

Promotion of consolidation for dredged soft sediments using permeable bags


M. Fukue, K. Kita, C. Mulligan, K. Uehara, Y. Umeki & T. Inoue

619

Estimation of the settlement of improved ground with floating-type cement-treated columns


R. Ishikura, H. Ochiai, K. Omine, N. Yasufuku & T. Kobayashi

625

Improvement for soft soil by soil-cement mixing


S. Jaritngam & S. Swasdi

637

Improving engineering properties of soft clayey soils using electrokinetics: A laboratory


based investigation
S. Jayasekera & S. Hall

643

3D modelling of deep mixing


H. Krenn, M. Karstunen & A. Aalto

649

Trafficability evaluation of PTM treated dredged soil deposit


S.-R. Lee, W.-Y. Byeon, H.-G. Park & S.-H. Jee

657

Comparison of performance between the dry and wet Deep Mixing method in soft
ground improvement
S. Liu, L. Chen & Y. Deng

667

A fundamental study on the remediation of contaminated soil with heavy metals based
on electrokinetic and magnetic properties
K. Omine, H. Ochiai & N. Yasufuku

673

Effect of zeolite and bentonite on the mechanical properties of cement-stabilized soft clay
A.A.-M. Osman & A. Al-Tabbaa

681

Enhancement of strength of soft soils with fly ash and lime


P.V. Sivapullaiah, B. Katageri & R.N. Herkal

691

Soil improvement using compaction grouting a laboratory investigation on the confining


pressure and injection rate in completely decomposed granite
S.Y. Wang, D. Chan, K.C. Lam, S.K. Au & L.G. Tham

697

The physical and mechanical properties of lime stabilized high water content expansive soil
B. Wang, X. Ma, W. Zhang, H. Zhang & G. Chen

703

Combined preloading compaction and composite ground to treat the soft subgrade of highway
G. Zheng, S. Liu & H. Lei

709

Theoretical analysis and constitutive modelling


The use of statistic analysis in predicting of ground and wall movements in soft clay
P. Chaichi & N. Shariatmadari

717

Analytic solutions of consolidation of fine-grained compressible soils by vertical drains


C.J. Leo

723

Improved stress-strain model of soft soil based on energy dissipation theory


T. Lu & W. Wang

731

Application of BP neural network in identifying soil strata by CPTU


S.-Z. Ma, H.-B. Jia, G.-T. Meng & S.-L. Liu

735

IX

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

A simplified plastic hysteretic model for multi-directional nonlinear site response in soft soils
J.M. Mayoral, J.M. Pestana, M.P. Romo & R.B. Seed

741

Mathematical description of consolidation test


G.-X. Mei, J.-M. Zai & J.-H. Yin

749

Back analysis of three case histories of braced excavations in Boston Blue Clay
using MSD method
A. Osman & M. Bolton

755

Effect of ratio of influence zone and type of vertical drain on consolidation of soft clay
due to radial flow
A.V. Shroff, M.V. Shah, T. Khan & N. Joshi

765

Study on the depth of crack propagation of unsaturated expansive soils


Q. Yang, P.-Y. Li & M.-T. Luan

775

Elastic viscoplastic modeling of two cases involving PVD improved Hong Kong marine clay
Z. Fang, J.H. Yin, C. Zhou & J.G. Zhu

779

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Preface

Soft soil is found in many places in the world and especially in coastal cities like Shanghai, Tianjin and Vancouver.
Soft sensitive clay, such as the Quick Clay along the St. Lawrence Seaway and in the Ottawa region in Canada,
provides many challenges to geotechnical engineers when building in or on this material. In many instances, soft
soil has to be treated using a variety of soil improvement techniques to improve its strength, deformation and
hydraulic properties.
The Fourth International Conference on Soft Soil Engineering provided an opportunity for geo-professional,
geotechnical engineers, academic and researchers, to share their experiences and research results on soft soils.
It was a continuation of previous three conferences held in Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hong Kong. The Fourth
International Conference on Soft Soil Engineering was held in Vancouver where there are soft soil problems
since Vancouver is situated at the river delta of the Fraser River. Delegates from over 20 countries gathered in
Hotel Vancouver between October 4 and 6, 2006 to discuss soft soils engineering. The conference dealt with
many technical issues of soft soil engineering such as soft soil construction, ground improvements, constitutive behaviour of soft soils, numerical modeling, hazard mitigation and post hazard ground investigation and
improvements. There were four keynote lectures given by leading professors/engineers from Canada, Germany,
Australia and China who shared their research findings and experiences in dealing with soft soils.

XI

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Organizing Committee

Conference Chair
Prof. Dave Chan
Steering Committee
Prof. D. H. Chan Prof. C. F. Lee
Dr. C. K. Lau,
Prof. L. G. Tham
Prof. K. T. Law
Prof. J.H. Yin
International Advisory Committee
Prof. Dave Chan
Dr. H. L. Liu
Dr. Dennis Becker
Dr. Charles Ng
Dr. Dennis Bergado
Prof. Pieter Vermeer
Prof. Buddhima Indraratna Prof. Richard Wan
Dr. Suzanne Lacasse
Dr. H. S. Yu
Dr. K. C. Lam
Prof. Askar Zhusupbekov
Prof. Serge Leroueil
Local Organizing Committee
Dr. Ranee Lai (Chair) Mr. Makram Sabbagh
Dr. Reza Iman
Mr. Daniel Yang
Mr. Gavin Lee
Dr. Mustapha Zerguon
Mr. Howard Plewes
Technical Program Committee
Prof. Tim Law (Chair)
Prof. Julie Shang
Prof. Masaharu Fukue
Prof. Siva Sivathayalan
Dr. Kai Sing Ho
Prof. Keizo Ugai
Prof. Jean-Marie Konard Prof. Baotian Wang
Prof. Maotian Luan
Dr. Quentin Yue
Organized by
The University of Alberta
The University of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Supported by
The Canadian Geotechnical Society

XIII

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Keynote papers

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Stability analysis accounting for macroscopic and microscopic


structures in clays
K.Y. Lo & S.D. Hinchberger
Geotechnical Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Western Ontario, London,
Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT: Geotechnical Engineering has advanced to the present stage that various types of earth structures
can be designed and constructed safely and economically in most instances. However, in some cases, difficulty
arises either in the form of failure during construction or after many years in existence. The soils in which these
problems occur include but are not limited to highly sensitive clays and stiff fissured clays of various geological
origins. These clays possess pronounced macroscopic and microscopic structures that control the strength and
deformation properties. Macroscopic structures are visible features that include fissures, joints, stratifications
and other discontinuities in an otherwise intact soil mass. Microscopic structures would include soil fabric
and cementation bonds. A typical soft clay deposit usually is composed of a weathered crust at the top that is
fissured and thus macroscopic structures are dominant and soft clay at depth in which microscopic structures
are significant. The properties of these clays are complex, having a stress-strain relationship that exhibits a peak
strength and a post peak decrease in strength, a non-linear failure envelope, strength anisotropy and a significant
decrease in strength with a slower rate of testing or longer time to failure.
This paper explores the implications of microscopic and macroscopic structure on stability problems and the
conditions under which difficulties arise. Results of laboratory and field tests together with case histories show
that the dominant effect of a macroscopic structure is exhibited in the reduction of undrained and drained strength
with the sample size. The mass strength, whether in the undrained or drained condition, is only a fraction of the
intact strength. Design analysis for stability conditions should therefore start with the mass strength at initial
time followed by a reduction in strength as time progresses. A case history of an embankment founded on stiff
fissured clay on which it failed after 32 years is analyzed in detail to illustrate progressive development of plastic
zones with construction details and time. The effect of cementation bonds in influencing the strength properties
of soft clays is studied by artificially deposited bonds using the electro-kinetic process and examination with the
electronic microscope. It is shown that in addition to the classical increase in strength with decrease in water
content, a strength increase occurred with time due to the deposition of cementation bonds by diffusion. An
important bonding agent is identified and its effect on bond strength is compared with bonding in natural clays.
As the height of an embankment founded on a sensitive clay deposit is increased, a plastic zone will develop and
increase in size. The pore pressures at a point will increase at a greater rate when the point is engulfed by the
plastic zone as a result of bond breakage. Concurrently, the strength will drop to the post-peak state. Case histories
of embankments on these clays are analyzed to illustrate the propagation of the plastic zone in controlling the
foundation behaviour at imminent instability. The difference in performance of embankments with different
geometries in the same clay deposit is investigated. It is shown that the stability and subsequent strength changes
are controlled by the loading geometry and extent of the plastic zone. Finally, design considerations are suggested
to accommodate the effects of the macroscopic and microscopic structures in these clays.

INTRODUCTION

that had been carried out. The soils in which these


problems occurred include but are not limited to stiff
fissured clays and highly sensitive clays, as exemplified by the following two well-documented case
records.
The first case involved an embankment constructed
at Nanticoke, Ontario, on a deposit of stiff fissured
clay after extensive field and laboratory investigations.

At present, soft clay engineering has advanced to the


stage that earth structures can be designed economically and constructed safely in most cases. There are,
however, circumstances in which failure has occurred
during construction or after many years in existence in
spite of the detailed field and laboratory investigations

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

Properties of some clays.

Site

LL

PI

LI

Undrained
Strength (kPa)

Sensitivity

References

Nanticoke
Wallaceburg (depth 4.2 m)
Sarnia Till
St. Vallier
St. Louis
St. Alban
Olga
Vernon

55
46
38
60
50
50
60
65

31
18
26
37
23
23
32
40

0.06
1.0
0.16
0.97
1.83
2.4
1.6
1.14

380
37
150
43
43
11
10
30

1
6
2
20
50
14
13
4

Lo et al. (1969)
Becker (1981)
Quigley and Ogunbadejo(1976)
La Rochelle and Lefebvre (1970)
La Rochelle and Lefebvre (1970)
La Rochelle et al. (1974)
Dascal et al. (1972)
Crawford et al. (1995)

The embankment was originally designed for a maximum height of 17 m (locally) with 2:1 slopes. It was
constructed in 1969 as a containment dyke for fly
ash disposal. Surficial instability occurred at various
periods after construction with time to failure of several months to several years. The downstream slope
was flattened in 1977 to 2.75:1. However, instability
occurred at 32 years after construction.
The second case involved a dramatic and most
instructive case record presented by Crawford et al.
(1995) who described two consecutive failures of an
embankment on soft clay, in spite of the fact that two
test embankments were already constructed on either
side of the failures and that the test embankments were
higher than the embankments that failed.
The conditions under which these problems
occurred are explored in this paper. Additional considerations to conventional design methodology are
suggested.

Figure 1. Effective strength envelope of Nanticoke Clay


from 4.5 m depth.

clays. The following discussion covers the behaviour


of relatively insensitive intact stiff clays, and a few
additional observations are also made on the behaviour
of sensitive clays. In order to avoid the effects of sample disturbance, only results of tests from specimens
trimmed from block samples or high quality large
diameter samples are considered.

BEHAVIOUR OF INTACT CLAYS

Highly sensitive clays and stiff fissured clays of various


geological origins possess pronounced macroscopic
and microscopic structures that control the strength
and deformation properties.
Macroscopic structures are visible features that
include fissures, joints, stratifications and other discontinuities in an otherwise intact soil mass. Microscopic
structures would include soil fabric and cementation
bonds identifiable, for example, using electron microscope techniques. A typical soft clay deposit usually is
composed of a weathered crust at the top that is fissured
and thus macroscopic structures are dominant and soft
clay below the crust wherein microscopic structures
are significant.
The properties of these clays are complex, having a
stress-strain relationship that exhibits a peak strength
and a post peak decrease in strength, a non-linear
failure envelope, strength anisotropy and a significant
decrease in strength with a slower rate of testing or
longer time to failure. Leroueil (2005) has presented
a comprehensive review of the behaviour of sensitive

2.1 Non-Linearity of Mohr-Coulomb envelope


Traditionally, engineers have adopted a linear relationship for the Mohr-Coulomb failure envelope. In reality,
test results have invariably shown that the envelope is
intrinsically nonlinear. However, the details of nonlinearity are markedly different between highly sensitive
and relatively insensitive clays. Properties of the clays
discussed in the following paragraphs are shown in
Table 1.
Figure 1 shows the Mohr-Coulomb envelope determined from intact specimens trimmed from block
samples of insensitive stiff fissured clay taken at the
Nanticoke Generation Station, Ontario (Valle 1969).
It can be seen that the envelope is mildly nonlinear over
a wide stress range with the strength increasing with
effective stresses. This behaviour is also exhibited in
other materials such as intact rock and concrete.
Figure 2 shows the results of tests on Wallaceburg
Clay (Becker 1981) near Sarnia, Ontario. The clay is

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 4. Results of CIU tests at different i on St. Vallier


Clay. (after Lo and Morin 1972)
Figure 2. Effective strength envelope of firm Wallaceburg
Clay. (after Becker 1981)

Figure 3. Stress condition at failure and stress paths, CIU


tests at i = 0 on St. Louis Clay. (after Lo and Morin 1972)

firm at the depth of testing with a liquidity index of


about one and a sensitivity of six by field vane tests.
It can be seen that the envelope is nonlinear. However,
over the stress range from 70 kPa to 90 kPa straddling
the preconsolidation pressure, there is little increase in
strength with increasing effective stress.
Figure 3 shows the results of CIU tests on St. Louis
Clay (St = 50) (Lo and Morin 1972). The envelope
is strongly nonlinear. The remarkable feature is that
there is a significant decrease in strength with an
increase in effective stress as the consolidation pressure approaches the preconsolidation pressure. Similar
behaviour can be seen for St. Vallier Clay (St = 20) in
Figure 4.

Figure 5. Stress-strain relationship of St. Vallier Clay from


drained triaxial tests. (after Lo 1972)

in which the strength loss due to bond breakage


overshadows the strength gain due to effective stress
increases until most of the bonds are broken, whereupon their effects are obliterated. At effective stresses
that exceed the preconsolidation pressure, the envelope enters into the unstructured portion where the
strength increases linearly with effective stress. Further study of cementation bonds will be discussed in
Section 5.

2.2 Anisotropy
The results of triaxial compression tests on specimens
from St. Vallier with their axes trimmed at i = 0 , 45
and 90 from the vertical are shown in Figure 4. The
apparent anisotropy of the strength envelope is evident although the trend of decreasing strength with
an increase in effective stress is less distinct. The
decrease in strength with an increase in effective stress
may be attributed to bond breakage, a progressive
process of damage to the microscopic soil structure

2.3 Effect of time


The stress-strain relationship of specimens from block
samples of St. Vallier Clay measured in isotropically
consolidated drained triaxial tests at consolidation
pressures below the vertical preconsolidation pressure
are shown in Figure 5 (Lo 1972). One series of tests
was performed at the conventional axial stain rate of

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 7. Influence of different physical factors on stress


conditions at failure in sensitive clays. (after Lo and Morin
1972)

Figure 6. Effect of strain rate on the peak strength of


St. Vallier Clay (after Lo and Morin 1972)

0.1% per hour while the other series was performed


40 times slower. It may be seen that both strength and
stiffness decreased with the slower rate of testing. The
dependence of the failure envelope on the rate of testing, including CIU tests, are shown in Figure 6 (Lo and
Morin 1972). Since the strain rates of laboratory tests
are vastly different from the strain rates in the field,
the results of these tests indicate that the effect of time
to failure is a significant factor to be considered in the
design of earth structures.
2.4

Post-Peak envelope

It has often been found that in most natural soils, the


strength decreases after the peak strength has been
reached. For sensitive clays, it was recognized that an
envelope defined by the state of stresses at strains in the
order of 6% to 10% is of particular engineering significance for the analysis of slope stability (Lefebvre and
La Rochelle 1974, Lo and Morin 1972). It was considered that the effect of anisotropy, time rate and the
potential for progressive failure all tend to reduce the
peak strength envelope towards the post-peak strength
as shown in Figure 7 (for details see Lo and Morin
1972). Analyses of natural slope failures in Champlain
Clays showed that the results lie close to the post-peak
envelope as shown in Figure 8 (Lo and Lee 1974). For
first time slides of cut slopes, the results lie above the
post-peak envelope (see points for Orleans (Lo 1972),
Lachute 1 and Lachute 2 (Lefebvre 1981)) as expected,
since the progression of progressive failure can satisfy
the limiting equilibrium condition before the post-peak
strength is reached over the entire slip surface.
An important contribution to the verification of
the concept of the post-peak strength was made by
Law (1981). A comprehensive series of tests on specimens prepared from 100 mm Osterberg samples from
Rockcliffe in the Ottawa region was performed using
different stress paths. The results showed that:

Figure 8. Summary plot for natural slope failures in Champlain Sea Clay. (after Lo and Lee 1974, with additional
cases)

p test to constant 1 test. However, the brittleness


of both clays is still manifested (see Figure 9).
(b) The post-peak envelope is independent of the stress
path and is remarkably similar to that deduced by
Lo and Lee (1974) (see Figure 10).
It appears, therefore, that the concept of post-peak
envelope remains valid since its inception as a basis
for the evaluation of the stability problem.
3 THE MASS STRENGTH OF FISSURED
CLAYS
In soil deposits that are essentially free of discontinuities, the properties of intact specimens measured in the
laboratory would be representative of field behaviour,
apart from accounting for their complex behaviour.
In a soil mass populated by features such as fissures
and joints, the properties measured in small intact
specimens in conventional sampling and testing can
be misleading.

(a) The brittleness of both a sensitive clay and a stiff


clay decreases from a constant 3 test to constant

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(b) syneresis: the colloidal process in which particles


are drawn together, forming honeycomb patterns
of cracking during aging;
(c) one-dimensional swelling due to removal of overburden such that the strain required to reach
passive failure is attained (Skempton 1961);
(d) tectonic stresses;
(e) stress relief and valley rebound due to erosion;
(f) slumps on steep rock valleys during deposition,
forming large scale discontinuities;
(g) glacial shear;
(h) temperature effects.
While joints, shear zones and faults affect the
directional stability of an earth structure, the most
ubiquitous discontinuities are fissures prevalent in stiff
fissured clays and the crust of soft or firm clay deposits.
An example of the large difference in undrained
strength between fissures and intact material of Nanticoke Clay is shown in Figure 11. Because of the large
difference in strength, whether in the undrained (Figure 11) or drained (Table 2) condition, the presence of
fissures considerably weakens the otherwise intact soil
mass. The degree of weakening would depend on the
difference between the intact strength and the fissure
strength as well as the density and size distribution of
the fissures. An example of a decrease in strength with
sample size (area of potential failure surface) is shown
in Figure 12.
The impact of macroscopic structures on the stability of earth structures such as cut slopes is substantial.
Table 3 summarizes some case histories of failure
in stiff fissured clays. The quantities Su and Su,m
represent the strengths from conventional unconsolidated undrained tests and the mass strength from back
analysis of failure, respectively. Fu is the factor of
safety computed from conventional U-U strength. It
can be seen that these conventional factors of safety
considerably exceed one. It follows, therefore that a
design approach without consideration of macroscopic
structure could be unsafe.

Figure 9. Effect of stress path on brittleness index of clays.


(after Law 1981)

Figure 10. Summary of results of stress path tests on


Rockcliffe Clay. (after Law 1981)

It has been recognized that the macroscopic structures of a clay can dominate its strength behaviour and
that the strength of the soil mass is only a fraction
of that of the intact material (e.g. Bishop and Little 1967, Lo 1970). Macroscopic structures include
fissures, joints and other discontinuities in an otherwise intact soil mass. For comparison, the effective
stress parameters of some stiff clays in the intact state,
along natural surfaces of weakness, and in the residual state are given in Table 2. It may be seen that
the strength along the discontinuities is much lower
than the intact material but distinctly higher than the
residual strength.
Many hypotheses for the mechanisms of formation
of discontinuities in clays have been put forward that
include but are not limited to:

It is often found in soft or firm clay deposits that


a stiffer crust exists of one to several metres thick.
The crust is typically fissured with high vane strength.
The strength decreases through the transition zone
and from there to the soft layer where the strength
increases again (see, for example, Figure 28 and 40).
The assumption of the value of undrained strength for
the crust has a significant effect on the design factor
of safety for embankments on soft clays.
The field vane test is commonly used for the measurement of undrained strength in field investigations.
However, the failure surface is cylindrical in the field

(a) weathering: one of the generally accepted mechanisms, including cycles of deposition, desiccation,
erosion and redeposition;

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

UNDRAINED STRENGTH OF THE CRUSTS


OF SOFT CLAY DEPOSITS

Table 2.

Strength of clays along discontinuities.

Clay

Index
Properties
WL WP WN
%
%
%

Type of
Discontinuities

Strength Parameters
Intact
DisconMaterial
tinuities
Residual


Nanticoke Clay
Ontario
Upper Siwalik
Clay Sukian
Blue London
Clay Wraysbury
Barton Clay
Hampshire
Magho District
Northern Ireland
Shale

cw

w

cr

Reference

r

c
kPa

( )

kPa

( )

kPa

( )

31

36

13

18

15

58

22

17

16

14

58

24

26

60

28

16

Fissure
(depth = 6 m)
Minor Shear

70

27

28

Joint and Fissure

31

20

18.5

16

83

32

30

Fissure

26

38

18

13

Bedding Joint

25

18

Lo & Valle
(1970)
Skempton and Petley
(1967)
Skempton et al.
(1969)
Marsland & Butler
(1967) and Corbett (1967)
Prior and Fordham (1974)

Figure 12. Strength-size relation, Nanticoke Clay from 6 m


depth. (after Lo 1970)

during insertion and the effects of strength anisotropy.


The effect of macroscopic structure therefore would
require the field vane strength to be reduced to correspond to the mass strength of the crust. Field results of
crust mass strength are scarce but the work of Quigley
and Ogunbadego (1976) and Lefebvre et al. (1987) are
discussed below.
4.1 Sarnia till
In a comprehensive study of the properties of Sarnia Till in connection with pollutant migration in a
Sarnia landfill site, Quigley and Ogunbadejo (1976)
performed large in situ shear box tests on the SarniaTill
using the same equipment and similar procedure as Lo
et al. (1969). The tests were performed at three depths
of 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 metres. The first two levels correspond to the crust and the third level corresponds to
the transition zone below the crust. The results, shown
in Table 4, indicated that the ratio of mass strength
to intact strength increases with depth, reflecting the
decreasing intensity of fissuring with depth. It is also

Figure 11. Stress-strain relation of intact and fissure samples-unconsolidated-undrained tests. (after Lo 1970)

vane test while fissures are approximately planar.


Therefore, the likelihood of containing fissures in the
vane test is small and the vane test measures essentially
the intact strength (Lo 1970) apart from disturbance

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 3.

Some case records of failure on fissured clays and rock.

Case Record
Bradwell 1
(England)
Bradwell 2
(England)
Wravsbury
(England)
Durgapur
(India)
Dunvegan
(Alberta)
South
Saskatchewan
Witbank
Colliery (South
Africa)
Houston (Texas)

Soil
Type

WL
Structure (%)

Wp
(%)

WN
(%)

Brown
London Clay
Brown
London Clay
Blue
London Clay
Blue
Silty Clay
Clay
Shale
Clay
Shale
Coal

Cut

95

30

33

0.05 97

1.8 54

Cut

95

30

33

0.05 97

1.9 50

Cut

73

28

28

0.0

118

3.3 36

Simons (1967)

Cut

58

20

23.4

0.09 113

8.7 13

Dastidar (1967)

Fill

50

24

22

0.04 217

2.6 83

Hardy et al. (1962)

Cut

80150 1827 1935

70

2.5 28

Peterson et al. (1960)

Pillar

7.4 4300

Bieniawski (1968)

Fissured
Clay

Anchored 65
Sheet
Pile Wall

Su
kPa

IB

Fu

Su,m
kPa

Reference
Skempton and
La Rochelle (1965)

31 900

22

22

97217* 2.2 2497 Daniel & Olson


(1982)

Note: IB = Brittleness Index; Su = Undrained Strength from Conventional UU tests; Fu = Factor of Safety used on Su
Su,m = Mass Strength Computed from Failure
* Increases with depth
Table 4.

Effect of fissures on the intact undrained strength of clays.

Soil Deposit

Depth (m)

Sui (kPa)

Su,m (kPa)

Su,m
Sui

Sarnia Till

1.5 (Crust)
3.0 (Crust)
4.5 (Transition)
0.21.2 (Crust)

280
250
150
75 (25)
80 (40)
333
390
371
77

55
104
85
18
18
56
95
97
31

0.20
0.41
0.56
0.24 (east trench)
0.23 (north trench)
0.17
0.24
0.26
0.40

Olga Sensitive Clay


Nanticoke G.S.
Fissured Clay
Brown London Clay, Maldon

3.3
4.8
6.1
1.42.0

Note: Sui = intact undrained strength from UU tests or vane test


Su,m = undrained mass strength from in situ shear box tests

number of the vane strength profiles were performed


both in two test trenchs (east and north) and there was
substantial variability of the vane strength. The results
of in situ shear box tests, however, were quite consistent. The ratio of the undrained strength from in situ
shear box tests to the field vane strength was about
one quarter and is shown in Table 4.

interesting to note that there is very little post-peak


drop in strength for this clay from the in situ shear box
test with the brittleness index being about 0.07.
4.2

Olga embankment

An embankment was loaded to failure at the Olga site,


in Mattagami, in Quebec (Dascal et al. 1972). The
factor of safety computed was 1.6. Trak et al. (1976)
re-analyzed the failure using the concept of undrained
post-peak strength. However, because of the uncertainty of the crust strength, an investigation was carried
out in the crust by Lefebvre et al. (1987). In situ shear
box tests and plate loading tests were performed in the
1.2 m thick crust but no tests were done in the transition zone which extended to about 3 m depth. A large

4.3

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Observations on mass strength of crusts

It is apparent from the results of the in situ tests


described in the preceding paragraphs and the study on
stiff fissured clays at Nanticoke (Lo et al. 1969) and at
Maldon (Bishop and Little 1967; also shown in Table
4) that the macroscopic structure of fissuring could
reduce the mass strength to about one quarter to one

third that of the intact material; the value would depend


on the intensity of fissuring at a particular site. As a
guideline, the vane strength in the crust of a soft clay
deposit should conceivably be reduced to this range.
It is of interest to note that in the planning and execution of the Gloucester Embankment at the National
Test Site near Ottawa, the impact of the crust of the
sensitive clay was recognized by Dr. M.M. Bozozuk
(Bozozuk and Leonards 1972) and it was removed
prior to the construction of the test embankment.

5
5.1

MICROSCOPIC STRUCTURE
Conceptual view of microstructure

Investigations into the microscopic structures of soils


have been carried out by numerous authors (see e.g.
Mitchell 1976, Rosenquist 1966). As early as 1966,
Quigley and Thompson (1966) using the X-ray diffraction technique showed that for a block sample of Leda
Clay, soil fabric underwent a large change once the preconsolidation pressure as determined in an oedometer
test was exceeded. It was hypothesized that cementation bonding was predominantly destroyed at yield
and greater anisotropic loading led to an increased
parallel arrangement of clay particles in the oedometer tests. More recently, Leroueil and Vaughan (1990)
reviewed the strength behaviour of many natural soils
and weak rocks and considered that the effects of
structure (microstructure) on engineering behaviour
should be treated as a basic concept in geotechnical
engineering.
A conceptual view of the microstructure of clays is
shown in Figure 13. The structure, consisting of the
fabric and the cementation bonds, was developed during and after deposition of the soil under a field stress
system and physico-chemical environment. The fabric
of sensitive clays may be conceived as a highly complex space frame and derives its resistance to shear
by displacements and deformations of its constituent
members and joints. The cementation bonds at the contacts of clay platelets are randomly distributed, and
are brittle in behaviour requiring little deformation to
rupture. For a given physico-chemical system, the relative contribution of the bonds and fabric to the overall
mobilized resistance of the soil to deformation would
predominantly depend on the intensity and strength of
the cementation bonds.
Starting from an equilibrium state, an increase in
applied stresses will be transmitted through the soil
skeleton (fabric) producing the deformations arising
from (a) the elastic deformation of the soil skeleton,
(b) deformation and sliding at points of contact, and
(c) deformation of the soil particles. Component (c)
may be neglected since the compressibility of the soil
skeleton is orders of magnitude greater than that of the

Figure 13. Conceptual view of change of microstructure


with shearing in sensitive clays.

soil particles. The vectoral summation of these microscopic deformations are observed as strain in a given
direction.
As the applied stresses are increased, the external stresses are transferred to the points of contact.
Since there is a lack of symmetry in the fabric and
the distribution of bonds, the distribution of normal
and shear forces at the contact points is not uniform.
In addition, distortion of the soil fabric would induce
tensile stress in some contact points. The criteria of
rupture, whether in shear or in tension, will be satisfied at some contact points leading to bond breakage.
The failure at points of contact leads to some particle
re-arrangement (see Figure 13), observed externally
as plastic (irrecoverable) deformation. The stresses
originally carried at the contact points will partly be
transferred to the pore water, increasing the pore pressure and partly to the neighbouring points of contact.
The shearing resistance of the broken contacts would
reduce to that similar to the post-peak strength of the
clay. Therefore, even at external stresses well below
macroscopic failure of a test specimen, bond breakage occurs and produces some plastic deformation
and slight re-arrangement of soil fabric as shown in
Figure 13.
This process was well illustrated by incremental
stress-controlled CIU tests on normally-consolidated
sensitive clays in which both plastic deformation
(creep) and pore pressure at a constant applied stress
increased simultaneously with time (Lo 1961). The
progressive nature of bond rupture during shear can
also be illustrated by Figure 14 in which the modulus of deformation of St. Louis Clay in CIU and CID
tests are plotted against consolidation pressure. It can
be seen that at half of the failure stress, the trend of

10

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

5.3 Artificial bonding by electrokinetic process

Figure 14. Variation of modulus of deformation with consolidation pressure for St. Louis Clay (after Lo and Morin
1972).

modulus variation with consolidation pressure reflects


that of the curved strength envelope shown in Figure 3.
As the applied stress increases in a triaxial test
towards the peak stress, localization of deformation
occurs due to the formation of a failure zone. Within
the failure zone at the peak stress, the bond strength is
fully mobilized. The test specimen then softens and
exhibits a decrease in strength with further strain (more
correctly, further displacement in the failure zone).The
post-peak strength is reached at a moderate nominal
strain in the range of 6%10% in sensitive clays. However, particle parallelism can only be approached at
much larger displacement in the region of the residual
strength in natural clays.

5.2

Following the discussion in the preceding section,


the contribution of cementation bonds to the strength
behaviour of soft clays will firstly be examined
using artificial bonding achieved by electrokinetic processes. The bonding agent will be iron compounds
derived from the iron electrodes during the treatment.
The soft clay used in the experiment is a marine
clay from Yulchon, South Korea. The liquid limit of
the clay is 59%, the plasticity index is 27%, and the
water content ranges from 80% to 110%. The clay is
normally consolidated. The undrained shear strength
is between 1 and 6 kPa.
Briefly, the test procedure involved the following
steps:
(i) Establish the classical relationship of the undrained
shear strength and water content for normallyconsolidated clays.
(ii) Set up two identical clay samples under the same
pressure and boundary conditions. One sample acts
as the control test.
(iii) Treat electrokinetically (EK) the test sample at the
applied voltage of 6.2 V using the direct current for
seven days, after consolidation at 15 kPa.
(iv) Allow the test to continue for diffusion to take place
for a further 45 days after EK treatment.
The test set-up for EK treatment of theYulchon Clay
is shown in Figure 15. Details of the test procedure
have been presented in Micic et al. (2002).
Tests were performed before and after the electrokinetic treatment to investigate the changes in the
physical, mechanical and chemical properties of the
Yulchon Clay due to electrokinetic treatment. The testing program included undrained shear strength and
water content measurements, soil chemistry analyses
(x-ray fluorescence or XRF, specific surface and cation
exchange capacity) and soil surface analyses using a
scanning electron microscope (SEM) including energy
dispersive x-ray (EDX) analyses for identification of
the elemental composition of the soil. Based on the
results of the tests, the contribution of cementation
bonds to the strength behaviour of the Yulchon Clay
was evaluated.

Laboratory study of cementation bonds

Studies on the source and nature of cementation bonds


in sensitive clays in Eastern Canada have been undertaken by Kenny et al. (1967), Yong et al. (1979)
and Quigley (1980), among others. While there was
some difference of opinion regarding the details of
the methods of these mineralogical and geochemical
investigations, there appears to be a general agreement that calcium carbonate and amorphous materials
including SiO2 , Fe2 O3 and Al2 O3 are the most likely
cementing agents in these sensitive clays.
To proceed from qualitative to more quantitative
assessment of the contribution of cementation bonds to
the overall shear strength of soft clays, one difficulty is
the lack of baseline reference for natural clays. It seems
appropriate therefore to artificially induce cementation
bonds by employing only one potential cementation
agent in natural clays, using an untreated sample as
a control test throughout the long duration of experimentation, so that their contribution to strength can
be ascertained and the possible mechanism of bonding
identified.

5.4 Results of artificially-induced bonding


Analyses of the relationship between the undrained
shear strength and water content of the normallyconsolidated (7-15 days of consolidation) Yulchon
Clay show that the undrained shear strength and water
content of Yulchon soil yield an exponential relationship as shown in Figure 16. Results of isotropicallyconsolidated undrained triaxial (CIU) tests shown in
Figure 17 indicate the ratio su /pc of 0.3, where p is
the consolidation pressure. This value is similar to the
in situ value of su /p = 0.26 at theYulchon site in South

11

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

40
p'=45 kPa
35

yield

30
p'=30 kPa

1-3, kPa

25

yield
2su

20

15
Shear Strength vs Consolidation
Pressure

40
10
su, kPa

30
20
p'

10

su

0
0

su/p'=0.3

10 20 30 40 50
p', kPa

0
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

22

Axial Strain , %
Figure 17. Results of CIU triaxial tests on natural Yulchon
Clay
Figure 15. Experimental apparatus (All dimensions in mm;
not to scale).

The results of undrained shear strength changes


after EK treatment of the Yulchon Clay are shown in
Figure 18. Figures 18(a) and (b) present the relationship between the water content and undrained shear
strength after electrokinetic treatment and diffusion
phases in the vicinities of the anodes and cathodes,
respectively. The change in strength may be attributed
to the processes operating in the tests, including:

Undrained Shear Strength (su), kPa

100

10

su = 551e-0.05w
UUp'=15 kPa)
CIU(p'=15 kPa)
CIU(p'=30 kPa)
CIU(p'=45 kPa)
Vane tests

p' - Consolidation pressure


UU - Unconfined compression test
CIU - Isotropically consolidated undrained triaxial test

0.1
50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

130

Water Content (w), %

(a) aging a process of bond growth with time without introduction of external agents (Leonards and
Ramiah 1959, Bjerrum and Lo 1963);
(b) electroosmotic consolidation a process of electrically induced water flow from anode to cathode
(see e.g. Casagrande 1949, Mitchell and Wan 1977,
Lo and Ho 1991); and
(c) deposition of cementation bonds under ionic diffusion.
The small increase in strength in the control samples
after 52 days may be attributed to the process of aging
under the constant applied stress of 15 kPa. During
electrokinetic treatment, all three processes would be
operating but the dominant mechanism is electroosmosis as can be seen by the large decrease in water
content at the anode region and little change in water
content at the cathode region. Finally, after the current
is switched off, the mechanism operating would be

Figure 16. Undrained shear strength of untreated Yulchon


soil versus water content

Korea reported by Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. (HDEC) in 1996. As expected, the
stress-strain curves in Figure 17 showed no post-peak
decrease in strength.

12

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

100
(a) Anode Region

Undrained Shear Strength (su), kPa

Undrained Shear Strength (su), kPa

100

After diffusion (45 days)

10

After EK treatment
(7 days)

After 52 days

EK treated-immediately after EK traetment of 7 days


EK traeted-45 days after EK treatment (diffusion)
Control-after 52 days
(pc=15 kPa; Uo=6.2 V)

1
40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

Water Content (w), %

Untreated Yulchon clay


(normally consolidated)

Anode
Cathode

-0.05w

su=551e

D
EK

D
EK

10

Cathode
Anode
Untreated
soil

1
65

Undrained Shear Strength (su), kPa

100

70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

Water Content (w), %

(b) Cathode Region

Figure 19. Development of the undrained shear strength and


water content changes of the Yulchon Clay during and after
EK treatment.

After diffusion (45 days)

10

After EK treatment
(7 days)

30
After 52 days

28

cathode region - sample 1

26
(pc=15 kPa; Uo=6.2 V)

24

1
40

50

60

70

80

90

100

110

120

22

Axial Stress, kPa

Water Content (w), %

Figure 18. Undrained shear strength versus water content:


(a) at anode and (b) at cathode

ionic diffusion with a small contribution from aging.


During this period, deposition of cementation bonds
predominately occurs.
Figure 19 illustrates the development of strength
during the entire experiment by following the strengthwater content paths starting from an initial water
content of 95%. At the anode region, the shear strength
increased from 4.5 kPa to 16.5 kPa immediately after
electrokinetic treatment along with a decrease in
water content from 95% to 74%. The undrained shear
strength further increased from 16.5 kPa to 21 kPa after
a diffusion phase of 45 days in spite of an increase in
the soil water content from 74% to 85%. At the water
content of 85%, consolidation alone as indicated by
the results of the control test would yield a strength
value of 7 kPa. Thus, the strength contribution from
bonding amounts to 67% of the total strength.
At the cathode region, the undrained shear strength
increased from 4.5 kPa to 11.5 kPa immediately after
electrokinetic treatment along with a decrease in water
content from 95% to 91%. The shear strength further increases from 11.5 kPa to 15 kPa after 45 days
of the diffusion phase along with a slight decrease in
water content from 91% to 87%. At a water content
of 87%, consolidation only would yield an undrained

anode region - sample 2

18
16

anode region- sample 1

14
12
10

untreated

8
6
4
2
0
0

10

12

14

16

18

20

22

Axial Strain, %

Figure 20. Results of unconfined compression tests.

strength of 5.4 kPa. Thus, the strength from bonding


would constitute 64% of the total strength.
The stress-strain curves from unconfined compression tests on treated soil are presented in Figure 20. As
can be seen, the results of compression tests are consistent with the results of vane tests discussed earlier,
showing that the undrained shear strength increased
due to EK treatment. In addition, brittleness developed in the soil as a result of electro-cementation. It is
also noted that the brittleness is more prominent at the
cathode than at the anode region, which is consistent
with the strength development paths in Figure 19.

13

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

cathode region - sample 2

20

Table 5.

2.4
pc'=40 kPa

2.3

pc'=16 kPa pc'=42 kPa

2.2

Void Ratio

2.1
2
1.9

Cathode

1.8
1.7

Anode

1.6
1.5
1

10

100

1000

Results of XRF analyses of Yulchon Clay.

Oxides (%)

Control

EK Treated Soil

SiO2
TiO2
Al2 O3
Fe2 O3
MnO
MgO
CaO
K2 O
Na2 O
P2 O5
Cr2 O3
L.O.I.
Total

56.55
0.72
16.70
5.74
0.09
2.41
1.23
2.96
1.67
0.10
0.01
11.60
99.78

49.90
0.64
14.61
11.78
0.13
1.82
2.50
2.60
1.39
0.95
0.02
13.10
99.45

Applied Pressure, kPa


Table 6.

Figure 21. Results of consolidation tests on Yulchon Clay.

Oedometer tests were performed on specimens


from the anode and cathode region as well as from the
control test. The results are shown in Figure 21. It may
be seen that a preconsolidation pressure of approximately 40 kPa has developed in both the anode and
cathode region as a result of electro-cementation. The
control test gives a preconsolidation pressure of 16 kPa
compared with the applied pressure of 15 kPa. It may
therefore be observed that an overconsolidation ratio
of about 2.5 has been induced by cementation bonding.
The mechanism of this electro-cementation may be
attributed to selective sorption and ionic exchange of
ionic species on clay particle surfaces and precipitation of amorphous chemical compounds such as iron
oxide/hydroxide and calcium carbonate which serve
as cementation agents (Quigley 1980). X-ray fluorescence (XRF), specific surface and cation exchange
capacity (CEC) analyses were performed on the soil
samples to detect the chemical changes in the soil due
to electrokinetic treatment and to identify cementing
agent(s) involved. The XRF analyses provide the major
element composition of the soil. The results of the
analyses shown in Table 5 show that the percentage
of iron oxide (Fe2 O3 ) increased significantly in the
soil after electrokinetic treatment while the percentages of other oxides (e.g. SiO2 , TiO2 , Al2 O3 , MnO,
MgO, CaO, K2 O, Na2 O, P2 O5 , Cr2 O3 ) only slightly
changed. In particular, the percentage of iron oxide
increased from 5.7% up to 11.8% while the percentage
of other potential bonding agents of SiO2 and Al2 O3
showed no increase. The increase in iron oxides is also
confirmed by the change in the soil colour from grey
to yellowish-brown in the zone of influence of electrokinetic treatment. The source of the iron was from
the steel electrodes, which corroded during the electrokinetic treatment. The released iron precipitated as
oxide or hydroxide due to the extremely low solubility

Properties

Control

EK Treated Soil

Iron Oxide Fe2 O3 (%)


Specific Surface (m2 /g)
CEC (meq/100g soil)
Iron Fe (Wt%)

5.7
23
6.7
8

11.8
34
26.4
36

of iron in the normal pH range of soils. The iron


oxide that adsorbed on soil particle surfaces induced a
cementation effect that led to the consequent development of strong aggregation of soil particles and thus
an increase in the soil shear strength.
The results of specific surface and CEC analyses
of the treated soil are listed in Table 6. For comparison, the corresponding values of untreated soil are also
included in the table. It can be seen from the table that
the values of specific surface and CEC of the electrokinetically treated soil particles were higher than those of
untreated soil. This increase in specific surface area,
and thus in the CEC, also indicates the presence of
the higher content of iron oxides in the treated soil
because it is known that iron oxides have high specific surface area amenable to act as coating on other
particles (Dixon et al. 1977).
In addition, Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses were performed to identify the elemental composition of the soil. The average of the percentage of
iron per total weight of the untreated soil was approximately 8 Wt%, while the percentage of iron after
treatment was about 36 Wt%.
The microscopic structure of the Yulchon Clay
before and after EK treatment was studied using a
scanning electron microscope (SEM). The SEM analyses were undertaken in order to visually identify the
occurrence of cementation in the soil due to electrokinetic treatment. Figures 22(a) and (b) show the
surfaces of the untreated (control) and treated soils,

14

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Results of post-treatment chemical tests.

Figure 23. CIU-OC tests, i = 0 , Initial c = 210 kPa, St.


Vallier Clay.

5.5 Estimate of bond strength in some natural


materials
Although the existence of bonds in soft clays has
been accepted by some researchers for some time (e.g.
Crawford 1963, Kenney et al. 1967), direct measurement of bond strength in natural soils is difficult and
their order of magnitude can only be inferred. In the
case of St. Vallier Clay, the drained tensile strength
is only about 3 kPa. This would represent the minimum bond strength under tensile stress induced at the
contact points.
In an attempt to evaluate the bond strength under
shear, three series of CIU tests were performed on St.
Vallier Clay by isotropically consolidating specimens
trimmed from block samples to pressures of 140, 210
and 280 kPa and then reducing the consolidation pressure to achieve OCRs up to eight (see Morin 1975).
The results of one of the series are shown in Figure 23
in which the post-peak envelope from Figure 8 is also
shown. It may be observed that for OCR exceeding
three, the shear strengths lie close to the post-peak
envelope but not on the extension of the unstructured
envelope. Similar observations may be made on results
from the St. Louis Clay. The results of these tests are
an additional indication of the robustness of the postpeak envelope. Using this envelope as the baseline
reference, the maximum bond strength under shear for
St. Vallier Clay would be about 20 kPa and represents
about 30% of the shear strength in the effective stress
region considered. Similar results were also obtained
for St. Louis Clay.
Substantially higher bond strength may exist in stiff
quick clays in the lower St. Lawrence region. The soil
involved in the Toulnustouc Slide (Conlon 1966) has
a liquid limit of 22, plasticity index of 4, with a high
liquidity index of 3.4. The undrained shear strength
is 400 kPa. A drained tension test indicated that the
minimum tensile bond strength is about 17 kPa. The
bond strength in shear may be interpreted to be as
much as 350 kPa.

Figure 22. Electron microscopy images of Yulchon Clay:


(a) Control samples; (b) EK treated samples.

respectively. It is evident that some amorphous cementation compound(s) were formed and precipitated on
the clay particles.
Finally, it is noted that the iron oxide (Fe2 O3 ) has
been measured in natural St. Alban and Gatineau Clay
(Yong et al. 1979) with values of 5% and 6%, respectively. These values are comparable to that of Yulchon
Clay used in the experiments as shown in Table 6. In
addition, the authors suggested that the oxides would
coat the particles. The EM image in Figure 22 lends
support to this hypothesis.
From this study on electrokinetically induced
cementation bonds, the following observations may
be made:
(1) Iron oxides can act as an effective cementing agent
in soft clays.
(2) Cementation bonds can contribute up to approximately 60% to 70% of the undrained strength of
the clay with brittle behaviour.
(3) Similarly, an overconsolidation ratio of about 2.5
can be induced by electro-cementation.

15

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

to 12 m. The test fills were well instrumented. Pore


pressures and settlements were measured during the
construction of the test fills and the road embankment.
Construction of the road embankment started in
early December 1988 and slowly filled to 7 m to 9.5 m
along the alignment by June 30, 1989, when the first
failure occurred on the north side encompassing a portion of the east test fill, as shown in Figures 25 and 26.
The test fill had been in place since 1986, and according
to the results of monitoring, all excess pore pressures
had dissipated (see Fig. 12 of Crawford et al. 1992).
The failure was deep-seated and probably circular. It
appears that the only significant warning sign was that
the ratio of the pore pressure increase to the applied
loading increase u/p approached one within the
failure zone. The pore pressure response to embankment load within the failure area is shown in Figure
27.
Reconstruction of the embankment was carried out
by adding 5 m thick and approximately 30 m wide
berms on both sides of the failure. Filling started
in August 1989 and progressed at a very slow rate.
On March 10, 1990, a second failure, much larger in
extent and including most of the first failure, occurred
between the two test fills that had been in existence
since 1986 (Figures 25 and 26). The height of the fill
at the time of the second failure was 11.2m, which is
somewhat higher than that of the first failure. The road
was eventually completed with berms and lightweight
fill.
This case record, with test fills and well executed
instrumentation and monitoring, led to several obvious
but perplexing issues.

Quigley (1968) performed a mineralogical analysis on a small block sample of the clay and reported
the strong bonding exhibited by the Toulnustouc Clay
is also related to aluminium and iron hydroxide precipitates in the soil. These materials probably form
bonds in two ways: (1) by direct precipitation to form
a cement linking the soil grains together, and (2) by
growing in the mineralogical continuity at the edges
of the clay crystals, thus increasing their size. The
latter would result in increased Van der Waals attractive forces as crystals grow closer together and could
even form cementation bonds if the crystals came into
contact with one another. The reasonableness of this
hypothesis has been supported by the results of the
artificial cementation study in Section 5.4.
An example of very large bond strength is described
in Leroueil and Vaughan (1990) for a mudstone in
Japan (Ohtsuki et al. 1981). An examination of their
data shows that in the normal stress range from 1500
to 3000 kPa, the friction angle  is only 8 with the
shear strength of about 1800 kPa. In this stress range,
the shear strength mobilized is therefore mostly bond
strength.
It can be observed from these cases that while the
bond strength in tension is low, the bond strength in
shear of natural material may differ by three orders of
magnitude and may constitute the major component of
the total shearing resistance that are measured in conventional tests in some natural materials. The degree
to which it can be mobilized depends on the nature of
the engineering problem under consideration.
6 ANALYSIS OF THE VERNON
EMBANKMENT
6.1

1. Why was the observational approach, which is generally accepted and now a time-honoured method,
not successful in preventing either the first or
second failure?
2. In what way are the results of the two test fills
misleading? Is the degree of natural horizontal variation of soil properties sufficient to cause the results
of the test fills to be inapplicable?
3. Why did the designed provision of berms not
prevent the second failure?

Brief description of failures

A dramatic and most instructive case history was


presented by Crawford et al. (1995) who described
two consecutive failures of an embankment on soft
clay, in spite of the fact that two test embankments
were already constructed on either side of the failures
and that the test embankments were higher than the
embankments that failed. The site is at Vernon, British
Columbia. The subsoil conditions shown in Figure 24
consisted of approximately 4 m of interlayered sand,
silt and clay, followed by a 5 m thick stiff to very stiff
clay crust, then by a deep deposit of soft to firm silty
clay. The undrained shear strengths measured by field
vane tests were approximately 80 kPa in the stiff clay
and 30 to 40 kPa in the soft to firm clay. The plasticity
index was about 35 and the natural moisture contents
varied from 60% to 80%. Figure 25 shows the locations of the test embankments and the embankment
that failed twice. The west test embankment was constructed to approximately 11.5 m thickness. The east
test embankment with wick drains was constructed

To investigate these issues, a series of limit equilibrium and finite element analyses were performed
and the results of these analyses are discussed in the
following sections.
6.2

Crawford et al. (1995) performed stability analyses for


the first failure assuming a uniform undrained strength
in both the crust and in the soft clay layer below the
crust. The results of their study showed that a factor
of safety of approximately one could be obtained for
a crust strength of 50 kPa and a strength of 30 kPa in
the soft clay layer below the crust.

16

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Limit equilibrium analyses

Figure 24. Profiles of water contents, Atterberg limits and shear strengths (after Crawford et al. 1995)

Figure 25. Site plan showing location of test fills and failure zones (after Crawford et al. 1995)

to 9 m depth from which the strength increases linearly with depth. Bearing in mind that the depth of
the slip surface lay within the first 15 m depth, three
strength profiles are shown in Figure 28, together with
the 1960 and 1985 measured vane strength. It is considered that the middle profile marked M appears to
be the most representative of the vane strength data

A more detailed representation of the subsoil


strength profiles was used in this paper based on the
vane strength data shown in Figure 24. In accordance
with the observations on the effect of fissures on the
mass strength discussed in Section 4, the strength of
the crust was corrected to 40 kPa down to a depth of
6 m where the strength decreases in the transition zone

17

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 26. Longitudinal section through the embankment (after Crawford et al. 1995)

Figure 27. Height of fill, settlement, and piezometric surface at centre line of station 27+80 during
construction (after Crawford et al. 1995)

18

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

while the higher (by 20%) strength profile marked


H and the slightly lower (by 10%) strength profile
marked L are obviously within reasonable limits of
interpretation of the strength data. The material parameters of the fill used were unit weight of 20.4 kN/m3
and c = 0,  = 33 , as in Crawford et al. (1995).
Table 7 summarizes the material parameters used in
the analysis.
The results of stability analysis are shown in Table 8.
It may be seen that, for the first failure, both the Mprofile and the L-profile yield a factor of safety not far
from one. As discussed earlier, both profiles are within
reasonable limits of interpretation of measured vane
strength data. Without correcting the crust strength to
account for fissures, the factor of safety would be 1.3.
The factors of safety for the second failure are slightly
higher than the corresponding ones of the first failure
but are still within the limits of reliability of = 0
analysis. It is recognized that part of the fill would have
settled into the subsoil rendering the results somewhat
difficult to interpret. Nonetheless, the results of the
second failure may be considered as supplementary

evidence, which is consistent with results of analysis


of the first failure.
From the discussions in the preceding paragraphs,
it is apparent that the instability condition of the Vernon Embankment is similar to other embankments in
soft to firm sensitive clays. While limit equilibrium
analysis might have (from hindsight) predicted the
instability of the two failures, conventional stability
analysis alone would not have addressed the questions
in Section 6.1.
6.3 Finite element analysis of vernon embankment
It has been recognized that the development of an overstressed zone (plastic region) in soft clay controls the
development of high pore pressures and thus the stability of embankments with low factors of safety (Lo
1973; Law 1975). In order to explore the behaviour of
the Vernon Embankment in more detail, finite element
analyses were performed.
6.3.1 Method of analysis
The first series of analyses carried out involved elastoplastic total stress analysis under plane strain condition
using the program AFENA (Carter and Balaam 1995)
for the two successive failures. The parameters used
are the same as those used in the limit equilibrium analysis (Table 7). Additional parameters required are the
coefficient of earth pressure at rest, Ko , which is taken
to be 1.04 in the crust and 0.84 in the soft clay. The
undrained elastic modulus, Eu , was evaluated assuming an Eu /Su ratio of 500 and Su from the M-profile in
Figure 28. The fill strength used was c = 10 kPa and
 = 33 .
The construction of the embankment was simulated
by activating the elements of fill material layer by layer,

20

Fill

0
Crust

Depth (m)

-6
-9 Transition Layer

-20 Clay Layer

-40

Table 8.

H Strength Profile
M Strength Profile
L Strength Profile
Measured Vane Strength 1985
Measured Vane Strength 1960

Factor of safety with different strength profiles.

-60
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

Undrained Strength, Su (kPa)

H Strength Profile
M Strength Profile
L Strength Profile

Figure 28. Distribution of vane strength with depth (adapted


from Crawford et al. 1995)

The First failure

The Second failure

FS

FS

1.19
1.07
1.00

1.29
1.13
1.04

Table 7. Material properties used in the limit equilibrium analysis of the Vernon
Embankment.
Depth
(m)

Crust Layer
Transition Layer
Soft-Stiff Clay Layer

06
69
940

Strength Profile (kPa)


H

40
4035
3575

40
4028
2860

40
4024.5
24.552.5

19

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Unit Weight,
(kN/m3 )

20
17
17

The centre line of the embankment

Unit: Meter
55.0

11.5

11.2
9.4

Step11
Step10
Step9
Step8
Step7
Step6
Step5
Step4
Step3
Step2
Step1

(0.9m)
(0.9m)
(1.1m)
(1.1m)
(1.1m)
(1.1m)
(1.0m)
(1.0m)
(1.0m)
(1.0m)
(1.0m)

9.3

26.7

7.5

1.5
1.0

1.5
1.0

5.0

Figure 29. The numerical construction scheme (The shaded area represents the construction after the first failure).

Crawford et al. 1995) is also shown. From this figure,


the following observations may be made:
(a) The plastic zone starts to form in the soft clay
below the crust and engulfs the location of the
piezometer at 10 m depth when the embankment
height reaches 4 m at Stn. 27 + 80. Subsequent to
the yielding of the soil at this moment, an increase
in rate of pore pressure rise may be expected. Figure 33 shows the measured pore pressure with an
increase in embankment height. It can be seen that
the yielding of the clay is well indicated by the
results of pore pressure measurements.
(b) The depth and the overall location of the velocity
field boundary are in general agreement with the
slip surface deduced by Crawford et al. (1995); and
(c) The horizon of maximum deflection at failure
agrees well with the location indicated by the
results of inclinometer measurements.

80

Smooth Boundary

Soomth Boundary

Unit:meter

Rigid Boundary
300

Figure 30. FEM mesh and boundary conditions

nine layers for the first failure and eleven layers for the
second layer as shown in Figure 29. The mesh used is
shown in Figure 30.

The effect of strength profiles on the prediction of


the critical height of the embankment is shown in Figure 34. It can be seen that the H-profile over predicts,
the L-profile under predicts slightly and the M-profile
yields good agreement with the observed critical
height of 9.4 m for the first failure. The computed
settlement with embankment height relationships are
compared with the measured settlements in Figure 35.
Bearing in mind there would be some effect of partial
consolidation, it can be seen that there is overall consistency between the results of the M-profile and the
observed settlements.
From the discussion in the preceding sections, it
is apparent that there is overall general agreement
between the results of analysis and the observed field
behaviour including critical height, pore pressure, lateral deflection, settlement and position of the slip
surface.

6.3.2 Results of analysis


The incremental simulation of the embankment construction portrays the development of the plastic zone
and velocity field. Figure 31 illustrates the extent of
the plastic zone and velocity field at an embankment
height of 8.3 m (prior to failure) and 9.4 m (at failure), respectively. The distinct changes in the plastic
zone and velocity field when the fill height reached
9.4 m can be observed. As the embankment height
approaches the collapse load, the plastic region extends
to the ground surface outside the embankment and a
kinematic collapse mechanism develops as shown in
the velocity field. At 9.4 m, both the plastic zone and
velocity field indicate a failure state is imminent or has
been reached.
The propagation of the plastic zone with an increase
in embankment height is shown in Figure 32 together
with the velocity field boundary. The measured lateral
deflection close to the toe at Station 27 + 80 (Figure 11,

6.3.3 Results of analysis of second failure


Similar analyses were carried out for the second failure
using the same parameters as for the first failure. The

20

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 31. Plastic Zones and Velocity Fields at embankment heights of H = 8.3 m and H = 9.4 m
20

20

40

60

80

100

Location of the piezometer

Measured Lateral Defection

10

Calculated Velocity Field Boundary (H=9.4m)


Crawford's Deduced Slip Surface

0
Su=40kPa
-6m
-9m

-10

Su=28kPa

M-Profile

-20

8.3
7.2

H=3.7m

-30

9.4

4.0

Depth, m

6.1
5.0

-40
-50
-60
-70
-80
0

20

40

60

80

Distance from the centre line, m

Figure 32. Development of the plastic zone in the foundation at increasing embankment height

21

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

100

20
18
16
14
The beginning of yielding
in FEM analysis

PWP, m

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0

10

Embankment Height,m
Figure 33. Measured pore water pressure on 10 m depth at centre line of station 27+80.
Settlement at Centre Line of Embankment, m

Settlement at Centre Line of Embankment (m)

0.0
Observed critical height
of the first failure=9.4m

-0.2
-0.4
-0.6
-0.8
-1.0

Calculated settlement with H strength profile


Calculated settlement with M strength profile
Calculated settlement with L strength profile

0.0

-0.2

-0.4

-0.6

-0.8
Calculated settlement with H strength profile
Calculated settlement with M strength profile
Calculated settlement with L strength profile
Measured settlement

-1.0

-1.2

-1.2
0

10

11

12

Embankment Heigh (m)

9.4

10

11

12

Embankment Heigh,m

Figure 34. Settlement of embankment centre vs embankment height with different strength profiles at station 27 + 80
(the first failure).

Figure 35. Measured and calculated settlements of the


embankment centre station 27 + 80 (the first failure).

be consistent with the factors of safety computed in


Table 8.
results of computed embankment height versus settlement relationships for the three strength profiles are
shown in Figure 36. The results for the L-profile yield
agreement with the observed critical height of 11.2 m.
One interpretation would be that this might indicate
an overall loss of strength of about 10% after the first
failure due to disturbance. This interpretation would

6.3.4 Analysis of waterline test fill


Two test fills were successfully constructed on the
west (Waterline Test Fill) and east (West Abutment
Test Fill) of the two failures as shown in Figure 25.
Because the performance of the West Abutment Test
Fill was affected by the installation of prefabricated

22

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

20
Observed critical height of
the second failure=11.2m

-0.2

20

40

60

80

100

H=11.4m

10

Equivalent Axisymmetric Geometry of Waterline Test Fill

-0.4

1.0
1.4

0
-0.6

-6m
-9m

-10

-0.8

Depth, m

Settlement at Centre Line of Embankment, m

0.0

-1.0
-1.2
Calculated settlement with H strength profile
Calculated settlement with M strength profile
Calculated settlement with L strength profile

-1.4
-1.6
0

Su=40kPa
Su=28kPa
M-Profile

-20
-30
-40

10

11

12

13

-50

14

Embankment Heigh,m
-60

Figure 36. Vertical displacement of embankment centre vs


embankment height with different strength profiles at station
27 + 80 (the second failure).

H=9.00m Waterline test fill (Axisymmetric Strain)


H=9.40m Waterline test fill (Axisymmetric Strain)
H=11.4m Waterline test fill (Axisymmetric Strain)

-70
-80
0

40

60

80

100

Distance from the centre line, m

vertical (wick) drains, only the Waterline Test Fill


will be analyzed so as to investigate the difference
in behaviour between the failed embankment and the
stable condition of the Waterline Test Fill.
An examination of the geometries of the Waterline
Test Fill shows that the problem is closer to threedimensional than a plane strain condition. Therefore,
any plane strain analysis (including limit equilibrium
analysis) based on plane strain conditions may be misleading. Although a 3-D elastoplastic analysis would
be preferable, a simpler axi-symmetric analysis was
performed so as to obtain some insight, as a first
approximation, into the impact of geometry on the
vast difference in behaviour of the embankments. The
rectangular geometry of the Waterline Test Fill was
idealized to a circular load with its diameter equal to
the average dimension of the two sides.
Figure 37 shows the progress of the plastic zone
from 9 m to 11.2 m to which the test fill was successfully completed. It is evident that at 11.2 m, the
condition is that of a contained plastic zone and the
test fill is stable. (A conventional limit equilibrium
analysis with the M-profile would have shown that the
factor of safety would be well below unity. In contrast, a back analysis assuming a factor of safety of
one would have indicated high strength. Both results
would be misleading.)
The plastic zones at H = 9.0 m and H = 9.4 m for a
strip and circular embankment are shown in Figure 38.
The large difference in extent of the plastic zones due
to different geometries of loading is evident. In addition, the propagation from 9.0 to 9.4 m is quite small
for the circular load. In contrast, the increment 0.4 m
of loading for the strip embankment results in a continuous plastic zone that has propagated to the ground
surface leading to collapse.
It is therefore suggested that observations at the
Waterline Test Fill may not be directly applicable to

Figure 37. Development of plastic zone under Waterline test


fill (Axi-symmetric strain assumption).

Equivalent Axisymmetric Geometry of Waterline Test Fill

20
10
0

Cross-section of Road Embankment on Station 27+80

1.5
1.0
1.0
1.4

Plane Strain H=9.0m (Strip Embankment)


Plane Strain H=9.4m (Strip Embankment)
Axisymetric Strain H=9.0m (Waterline Test Fill)
Axisymetric Strain H=9.4m (Waterline Test Fill)

Depth, m

-6m
-9m

Failure

-10

Su=40kPa
Su=28kPa
M-Profile

-20
-30
-40
-50
-60
-70
-80
0

20

40

60

80

100

Distance from the centre line, m


Figure 38. Development of plastic zones under Waterline
test fill and strip embankment at station 27 + 80.

the road embankment due to the difference in development of the plastic zone under different loading
configurations.
In a subsequent section, case records of well defined
loading geometries will be analyzed to verify the
findings discussed for the Vernon case records.

23

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

20

EFFECT OF EMBANKMENT GEOMETRY ON


BEHAVIOUR OF FOUNDATION CLAY

This section examines the Sk-Edeby Test Field in


order to verify the effect of embankment geometry
on the behaviour of underlying soft clay deposits as
seen in the Vernon embankment and test fills.
The Sk-Edeby case involved construction and
monitoring of embankments with well defined geometries. The test fills were monitored over a period of
more than 10 years. Lo (1973) and Law (1975) have
both studied the impact of embankment geometry on
the behaviour of the foundation clay in this case.
7.1

Sk-edeby test field

In 1957, the Swedish Geotechnical Institute constructed a series of test fills at the Sk-Edeby test field
situated 25 km west of Stockholm Sweden. Figure 39
shows a plan of the test site showing the locations and
dimensions of each test fill. Originally, four circular
fills were constructed at Sk-Edeby of which three fills,
Areas I, II and III, were provided with sand drains
at different spacing to accelerate primary consolidation of the underlying foundation clay; a fourth test
fill, Area IV, was built without sand drains. In 1961,
four years after construction of the original circular
fills, a 40 m long test embankment was constructed
at Sk-Edeby by unloading Area III (see Figure 39).
The test embankment had a crest width of 4 m and
it was built without sand drains permitting comparison of its performance with that of Area IV. Holtz and
Broms (1972) provide a detailed account of the performance and assessment of the circular test fills whereas
the plane strain embankment is described by Holtz
and Lindskog (1972). For both the embankment and
Area IV, the height was 1.5 m with an applied surface
loading of 27 kPa, giving a factor of safety of 1.5.
Based on the case record, the foundation conditions
at Sk-Edeby comprise an upper deposit of postglacial clay underlain by a lower deposit of normally
consolidated glacial clay. Figures 40 and 41 summarize the natural moisture content, Atterberg limits and
the field vane strength profile (SGI vane) for the soils
encountered below the embankment and test Area IV.
For both the test fills, the field vane strength profiles
were measured prior to construction, in 1957 for Area
IV and in 1961 for the embankment, and again in 1971.
Referring to Figure 40, before construction, the
undrained strength of the clay below the test embankment was only 12 kPa near the ground surface decreasing to about 8 kPa at a depth of 3.8 m. Below 3.8 m, the
undrained strength increased from 8 kPa to 14 kPa at
10 m and to 25 kPa at a depth of 14 m. Below test Area
IV (Figure 41), the undrained strength of the clay was
found to decrease from 25 kPa near the ground surface
to about 8 kPa at a depth of 3 m. The strength then

Figure 39. Plan of the Sk-Edeby test field (after Holtz and
Broms 1972).

increased from 8 kPa at 3 m to 14 kPa at 8 m and finally


25 kPa at a depth of 12 m. Thus, the initial strength
profiles of both areas are very similar.
However, the changes in strength with time below
the two embankments are very different. Based on the
case records (see Figures 40 and 41), the field vane
strength below Area IV increased by about 5 kPa after
14 years of sustained loading. However, for the plane
strain embankment, there is virtually no increase in the
undrained strength of the foundation after 10 years of
loading even though the depth of the deposit and duration of loading are comparable. Consistently, there is
also little reduction in water content in the case of the
embankment while there is a more discernable reduction of water content in Area IV. To investigate the
possible cause of this behaviour, the test embankment
and Area IV fill were analyzed using the finite element
method.
The undrained shear strength profile for the
embankment and Area IV adopted for the analyses
are shown in Figures 40 and 41, respectively. For each
case, the foundation and embankment soils were modeled as linear elastic-perfectly-plastic materials with
an undrained strength governed by Mohr-Coulombs
failure criteria, a Poissons ratio of 0.49 (e.g. constant
volume deformation) and an Eu /Su ratio of 500. The
finite element analysis was performed using the program PLAXIS taking care to ensure enough elements
and load increments were used to obtain reliable solutions. For the test embankment, plane strain conditions
were assumed since the length of the embankment

24

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Natural Moisture Content


Atterberg Limits

2.0m

Vane Shear Strength


(average value)
Stress, kPa

Moisture Content (%)

1
1

20

1.5m

60

80 100 120 140

10

15

20

25

30

35

1961

UPPER POST
GLACIAL CLAY

LOCAL
FAILURE

40

-2

LOWER GLACIAL
VARVED CLAY

1971
(Solid) PLASTIC
ZONE

1961
(Hollow)

-4

Depth (m)

-6
1961
(Light)

-8

Used in Analysis

1971
(Solid)

-10

-12

1971
(Dark)

-14

-16

ROCK OR MORAINE

Figure 40. Sk-Edeby Test Field Zones of local failure and subsurface profile from the plane strain test embankment (soil
properties from Holtz and Lindskog 1972).
Natural Moisture Content
Atterberg Limits

15.3m
1.5
0

UPPER POST
GLACIAL CLAY

NO ZONES OF
LOCAL FAILURE

Stress, kPa

Moisture Content (%)

1.5m

Vane Shear Strength


(average value)

20
1961
(Light)

40

60

80 100 120 140

10

15

20

25

30

35

1971
(Solid)

-2
1961
(Hollow)

-4

LOWER GLACIAL
VARVED CLAY

1971
(Solid)

-6
1961
(Hollow)

-8

-10
Used in
Analysis
-12
1971
(Dark)
-14

ROCK OR MORAINE

Figure 41. Sk-Edeby Test Field Zones of local failure and subsurface profile for the circular test fill area IV (soil properties
from Holtz and Broms 1972)

It is concluded from this study that the main difference in behaviour of Area IV compared with that
of the test embankment is due primarily to the loading geometry and its consequent effect on stresses and
zones of failure in the embankment foundation (see
also Law 1975). Given the sensitivity of the Sk-Edeby
Clay which was generally in the range of 7 to 20, it
is most probable that the effect of the microstructure
is significant. Therefore, the absence of strength gain
below the embankment fill after ten years of sustained
loading may be attributed to the process that the clay
was destructured within the zone of local failure. In
contrast, no plastic zone exists below the circular fill
Area and the behaviour of the clay follows the classical concept of strength increase with time of sustained
loading.

was approximately ten times the crest width. Axisymmetric conditions were assumed for theArea IV fill
which was circular. The construction of each embankment was simulated in six lifts and the results of the
analyses are summarized in Figures 40 and 41 which
show the calculated zones of failure in the foundation
after construction. It is noted that the results of the
present analysis are very similar to the results obtained
by Law (1975).
It can be seen by comparing Figures 40 and 41 that
there is a significant extent of plastic zone in the foundation of the Sk-Edeby test embankment whereas
there is no plasticity in the foundation of the Area
IV fill. This illustrates the importance of the loading geometry on embankment performance as in the
Vernon case described previously.

25

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

7.2

Observations from the study of the vernon and


sk-edeby embankments

From the results of analyses of the two embankments, it


is evident that the behaviour of embankments founded
on soft clay depends not only on the properties of
the foundation soil but also on the configuration of
the applied loading. With respect to the issues raised
in Section 6.1 regarding the failures of the Vernon
Embankment, it may be observed that:

DYKE
PRIMARY
LAGOON

1997 FAILURE
B

2002
FAILURE
S2
SECONDARY ASH
A

S2

FLY ASH
SETTLING

D
DYKE

(AIR PHOTO: OCTOBER 1987)


LAYOUT:
A - Secondary Ash Settling Pond 1 (normal water level el. 193.3m)
B - Secondary Ash Settling Pond 2 (normal water level el. 192.2m)
C - Secondary Ash Settling Pond 3 (normal water level el. 192.2m)
D - Bottom Ash Settling Pond (max. water level el. 195.4m)

Figure 42. Layout of the Nanticoke Ash Lagoon and Dyke.

of years after construction (Peterson et al. 1960; Kuluk


1974; Graham 2003 and Man et al. 2003).
It is therefore of interest to examine the long term
stability of a section of the Nanticoke dyke which
failed 32 years after construction. The Nanticoke case
is of interest because the soil properties were comprehensively investigated in the original design, the
post-construction change in the dyke geometry and
pore pressure conditions were reasonably known, and
the geometries of the failed and stable sections were
clearly defined.

LONG TERM FAILURE UNDER LOADING


CONDITIONS

8.1 Description of the case

In clays with pronounced macrostructures mainly constituted by fissures, first time slides of excavated slopes
under long term conditions are well documented. For
example, in cuttings in Brown London Clay, Skempton
(1977) documented twelve cases with time to failure
varying from immediately after excavation (Bradwell
shown in Table 3) to 65 years after construction. The
slopes varied in height from 5 m to 17 m and inclinations from 0.5:1 (Bradwell) to 3.75:1. However, long
term failures of embankments on clay foundations are
relatively infrequent. Perhaps the best known examples
are the Seven Sisters dykes in Manitoba on the banks
of the Red River. Large movements of these dykes, of
heights between 7 to 8 m and downstream slopes of
2:1 to 2.5:1 founded on Lake Agassiz Clay had been
occurring for long periods of time in the order of tens

The Nanticoke Ash Lagoon dyke was built in Nanticoke, Ontario, between 1969 and 1970 on a deposit of
stiff fissured clay. The dyke was constructed to provide containment for the storage of bottom ash and fly
ash produced by the Nanticoke Thermal Generating
Station. Figure 42 shows an air photograph of the ash
storage area.
The Nanticoke Ash Lagoon dyke is an earthfill
embankment comprising predominantly clay fill, a
thin downstream granular shell comprising crushed
rock and a thin zone of rockfill slope protection on
the upstream slope (see Figure 44). The embankment
crest width is 4m, the dyke height varies from 6 m to
locally 17 m and the dyke has a total length of about
2130 m. Initially, the Nanticoke dyke was designed and
built with 2:1 upstream and downstream slopes. The

26

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

SECONDARY
LAGOON

INTERCEPTER
DITCH

(a) Results of observations on test fills should be


based on geometrically similar surface loading and
accompanied by appropriate analyses before the
results thus verified are applied to the full scale
structure.
(b) Examination of the available information in Crawford et al. (1995) shown in Figures 24 and 25
indicates there is no definite trend of variation of
vane strength or water content between the 1960,
1985 and 1990 investigations for the soft to firm
clay layer. While there is some variation in the stiff
to very stiff crust, the reduction of vane strength
in the crust to account for fissures in the analyses
rendered the effect of variation on the results of
analyses negligible.
(c) Design for remedial measures of embankments at
locations of previous slides should be based on
some degree of loss of strength. A slow rate of
construction does not necessarily ensure stability.
(d) For embankments (plane strain) loaded close to
failure, the rate of propagation of plastic zone at fill
heights approaching failure is very rapid (see Figure 38 for plastic zones at fill heights 9.0 to 9.4 m).
At this meta-stable state, as the critical height is
approached, it is difficult to arrest an imminent
instability.

DYKE

AS-BUILT DYKE WITH


2:1 SLOPES (1970)

4m
El. 197m
2
1

El. 189m (ORIGINAL DESIGN)


2
1

El. 185m
CRITICAL SLIP SURFACE
(Limit Equilibrium Analysis)

2A

El. 177m
El. 175m

2B

El. 174m

ZONE 1
2A
2B
3
4
5

CLAY FILL
UPPER NANTICOKE CLAY (FISSURED)
LOWER NANTICOKE CLAY (INTACT)
BASAL TILL
LIMESTONE BEDROCK
CRUSHED ROCK

Figure 43. Original as-built geometry of the Nanticoke Ash Lagoon dyke Section S2-S2.
AS-BUILT DYKE WITH
2:1 SLOPES (1970)
FLATTENED TO 2.75:1
IN 1977

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)
TENSION
CRACK
El. 193.3m (Raised in 1984)

2.75
1

El. 189m (Original Design)

INTERCEPTOR DITCH
(ADDED IN 1971)
El. 185m

2
1

2A

APPROXIMATE FAILURE SURFACE (2002)

El. 182m
El. 179m
El. 177m

2B

El. 176m

ZONE 1
2A
2B
3
4
5

CLAY FILL
UPPER NANTICOKE CLAY (FISSURED)
LOWER NANTICOKE CLAY (INTACT)
BASAL TILL
LIMESTONE BEDROCK
CRUSHED ROCK

Figure 44. Summary of modifications made to the Nanticoke Ash Lagoon dyke geometry and operation after construction.

2.75:1 using crushed rock. This modification or repair


was required at all locations of the perimeter dyke due
to wide spread shallow slumping of the downstream
slope between 1970 and 1977. Finally, the third modification involved raising the upstream pond level from
el. 189 m to 193.3 m in 1984 (see Section S2-S2 near
Secondary Ash Settling Pond 1 in Fig 42).
After the final modifications, the Nanticoke Ash
Lagoon Dyke performed satisfactorily from 1984 to
1997. However, in November 1997, a 100 m long section of the dyke slumped adjacent to Secondary Ash
Settling Pond 2. The location of the failure is shown on
Figure 42. The dyke was subsequently repaired in 1997
by locally flattening the downstream slope to 3:1 and
lowering the crest from el. 197 m to 194 m. Although
the incident was not well documented, based on the
nature of the repairs it is inferred that this might be the
first incident of deep-seated moment of the dyke.

dyke foundation comprises a deposit of overconsolidated (OCR 6) stiff fissured clay overlying basal till
and limestone bedrock. The clay deposit is on average about 8m thick. Figure 43 shows the as-built dyke
geometry and the results of limit equilibrium analysis
to assess the design factor of safety, which was 1.26
for the dyke section considered below.
Since construction of the Nanticoke dyke, there
have been three significant modifications made to the
as-built dyke geometry and its operating conditions.
These changes, not known at the time of the original
design, are summarized in Figure 44. First, in 1971
a 3 m deep interceptor ditch was added 6 m downstream of the original embankment but only adjacent
to the Ash Settling Ponds (see Figures 42 and 44).
The ditch was built to divert runoff from fields to the
west of the storage area. Then, in 1977, the downstream slope of the dyke was flattened from 2:1 to

27

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

N-Values (blows/ft)
0

204

06

Moisture Content (%)

10 20 30 40 50 60 70

TOPSOIL

wP

Hydraulic Conductivity (cm/s)


10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

wL

NANTICOKE CLAY (CH) Very stiff, brown to grey,


fissured, moist, high
plastic clay.
(ZONE 2a)
Fissured clay

Depth (m)

(AVERAGE DEPTH)

6 (ZONE 2b)
Predominantly intact
clay.

10

(AVERAGE DEPTH)

BASAL TILL (MH) Hard to very stiff, grey,


clayey silt to silt,
trace of sand, occ. silty
sand layers.
(AVERAGE DEPTH)

Figure 45. Subsurface conditions at the Nanticoke site.

In 2002, a 150 m long section of the embankment


slumped adjacent to Secondary Ash Settling Pond 1
(see Figure 42). This slump was relatively well documented with photographs and some displacement
monitoring. The approximately shape of the failure
surface is shown on Figure 44. The time-dependent or
viscous nature of the 2002 failure is of particular interest. In January 2002, the first signs of distress appeared
when a 50 mm wide crack was discovered on the crest
of the dyke adjacent to Secondary Ash Settling Pond 1.
Between January 2002 and April 2002, vertical deformations of the crest increased from initially 50 mm to
nearly 1 m. Horizontal deformations at the toe of the
embankment increased similarly over the same period.
From the observed deformations, the 2002 failure was
deep seated and of a circular nature. The rate of movement during the failure, however, was relatively slow
compared with documented failures in sensitive clays
(for example see the Vernon case). It is interesting that
the time to failure was approximately 32 years post
construction making this a relatively unique case. In
the following sections, the engineering properties of
Nanticoke clay are discussed and theAsh Lagoon Dyke
is analyzed using limit equilibrium analysis and finite
element analysis to investigate the factors leading up
to the 2002 failure.
8.2

300

Shear Stress, (kPa)

250
PRESENT STUDY
50mm dia. Samples
'= 28o
c' = 20 kPa

150
100
MASS STRENGTH
(Vallee 1969)
100mm dia. Samples
'm=18o
c'm=13kpa

50
0
0

50

100

150
200
250
300
350
Effective Normal Stress,'N (kPa)

RESIDUAL STRENGTH
(All sample sizes)
'r= 15o
c'r= 13 kpa

400

450

500

Figure 46. The effect of sample size on the effective strength


envelope of Nanticoke clay (from Valle 1969, Lo et al. 1969,
and Liang 2006).

zones. The upper zone, Zone 2A, is heavily fissured


whereas the lower zone, Zone 2B, is less fissured. The
impact of the relative frequency of the fissures can
be seen in the variability of such parameters as the in
situ Hydraulic Conductivity and the Standard Penetration Test N-Values (see Figure 45). The basal till and
limestone encountered below the clay, although well
characterized, are of lesser importance in assessing the
failure.
The strength and deformation behaviour of stiff fissured clay were comprehensively investigated by Lo
et al. (1969) and Lo et al. (1971). It has been shown
in Figure 12 that for fissured clay there is a significant
reduction of undrained strength from that of the intact
material to that of the material mass as the specimen
size and consequent size of the failure plane increases.
Similarly, as shown in Figure 46, sample size also

Properties of the Nanticoke Foundation and Fill

The subsurface conditions at the Nanticoke site are


summarized in Figure 45. The foundation of the Nanticoke dyke at Section S2-S2 comprises 8 m of stiff
fissured clay underlain by a very stiff to hard basal
till and then limestone bedrock. In general, the stiff
fissured Nanticoke clay can be divided into two basic

28

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

INTACT STRENGTH
(Vallee 1969)
'p=32o
c'p=22kpa

200

Table 9.

Material parameters used to analyze the Nanticoke dyke.

Soil Layer

Hydraulic
Conductivity used
in the Analysis (cm/s)

Unit Weight
(kN/m3 )

Cohesion
Intercept
(kPa)

Effective
Elastic
Friction Angle Parameters
(degrees)
(E in kPa and )

Dyke Fill (compacted Nanticoke clay)


Upper Nanticoke clay (Zone 2a)
Lower Nanticoke clay (Zone 2b)
Basal Till
Bedrock

kv = kh = 5 108
kv = kh = 5 108
kv = kh = 1 108
kv = kh = 5 107
kv = kh = 5 105

19
19.5
19.5
NA
NA

14
13
13
NA
NA

24
18
18
NA
NA

25000 0.4
30000 0.4
30000 0.4
NA
NA

NA Not modeled because a rigid boundary was assumed at the bottom of the Nanticoke clay deposit.
Peak strength parameters
Mass strength parameters

Table 9. The initial stresses in the overconsolidated


Nanticoke foundation clay were calculated assuming
Ko = 1.5 with the initial groundwater table at a depth
of 5.4 m. In the analysis, peak strength parameters were
used for the fill and mass strength parameters for the
foundation.
The solution scheme involved the repeated usage
of finite element seepage analysis and elasto-plastic
analysis to establish the appropriate groundwater conditions and states of stress. At each stage, the results
of seepage analysis were checked against field observations of pore pressures which were monitored from
1988 to 2004. The results of the analysis are shown
in Figures 47a to 47d. Details of the solution can be
found in Liang (2006).
Limit equilibrium calculations were also performed
using the program Slope/W (Geoslope 2004) to complement the finite element analysis. The soil strength
and material parameters used in the limit equilibrium analysis were identical to those used in the finite
element calculations (see Table 9). For each of the
operating conditions considered, the piezometric head
in the dyke and its foundation was calculated by finite
element seepage analysis and imported into the limit
equilibrium analysis.

has an impact on the effective strength parameters of


Nanticoke clay. Figure 46 shows the Mohr Coulomb
envelop for Nanticoke clay as determined from drained
triaxial compression tests (peak strength) and multiple pass direct shear tests (residual strength). For
18mm diameter specimens, the effective peak strength
parameters of Nanticoke clay are c = 22 kPa and
 = 32 neglecting curvature of the failure envelop
at very low normal stresses: These are considered to
be the peak strength parameters of the intact material.
As the sample size is increased, the Mohr-Coulomb
strength parameters reduce to c = 13 kPa and  = 18
for 100 mm diameter samples, which is slightly above
the residual strength of Nanticoke clay as measured
using multiple pass direct shear tests (e.g. c = 13 kPa
and  = 15 ). The impact of macrostructures or fissures on the engineering behaviour of Nanticoke clay
is evident in Figure 46 and for stability analysis the
mass strength of the material should be used: in this

case cm = 13 kPa and m
= 18 .
Lastly, in order to assess the failure of the Nanticoke dyke in 2002, the strength parameters of the dyke
fill were also obtained from multiple pass direct shear
tests. Both peak and residual strength parameters were
obtained for the dyke material and the peak strength
parameters are summarized in Table 9. The dyke fill
comprised Nanticoke clay borrowed from within the
perimeter of the ash storage area and compacted at
the optimum moisture content (about 26%). The residual strength of the fill and the undisturbed foundation
material are identical, as would be expected.

8.4

The impact of the significant changes in geometry


and groundwater conditions since construction on the
stability of the dyke have been evaluated and are discussed below. Figure 47a shows the calculated zones
of plasticity or local failure in the Nanticoke case after
filling the head pond to el. 189 m and before excavating the downstream interceptor ditch in 1971. For
the condition of the original design, the factor of safety
determined from limit equilibrium analysis is 1.26 and
there are small zones of local failure in the foundation
near the toe of the dyke and in the centre of the fill.
Figure 47b shows the impact of excavating the interceptor ditch in 1971 6 m downstream of the dyke. For

8.3 Analysis of the 2002 Nanticoke failure


To gain insight into the stress changes in the Nanticoke
case, the 2002 failure was assessed using finite element
analysis. The procedure of analysis followed the stress
history generated by construction and operation of the
facility, so as to determine the states of effective stress
and groundwater conditions at a particular stage. The
material parameters used in the analysis are shown in

29

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Discussion of results

PEAK STRENGTH
FOR THE FILL

AS-BUILT DYKE WITH


2:1 SLOPES (1970)

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)
2

El. 189m (Original Design)


2
1

El. 185m

K'o = 1.5

CRITICAL SLIP SURFACE


(LIMIT EQUILIBRIUM ANALYSIS)

El. 177m
El. 175m

2A
2B

El. 174m

MASS STRENGTH FOR


THE FOUNDATION

ZONE 1

(a) Original design (FS=1.26)

CLAY FILL
2A UPPER NANTICOKE CLAY (FISSURED)
2B LOWER NANTICOKE CLAY (INTACT)
3 BASAL TILL
4 LIMESTONE BEDROCK
5 CRUSHED ROCK

PEAK STRENGTH
FOR THE FILL

AS-BUILT DYKE WITH


2:1 SLOPES (1970)

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)
TENSION CRACK
1
El. 189m (Original Design)
2
1

2
1
INTERCEPTOR DITCH
(ADDED IN 1971)
El. 185m

2002 FAILURE PLANE (APPROXIMATE)


El. 179m
El. 177m

El. 182m

2A

K'o = 1.5

2B

El. 176m

MASS STRENGTH FOR


THE FOUNDATION

(b) With the interceptor ditch, 1971 (F.S. = 1.21)


PEAK STRENGTH
FOR THE FILL
AS-BUILT DYKE WITH
2:1 SLOPES (1970)
FLATTENED TO 2.75:1
IN 1977

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)
TENSION CRACK
1
El. 189m (Original Design)
2

2.75
1

INTERCEPTOR DITCH
(ADDED IN 1971)
El. 185m

PLASTIC ZONES
El. 179m
El. 177m

2A

K'o = 1.5

2002 FAILURE PLANE (APPROXIMATE)

El. 182m

2B

El. 176m

MASS STRENGTH FOR


THE FOUNDATION

(c) After flattening the downstream slope (F.S. = 1.28)


PEAK STRENGTH
FOR THE FILL
AS-BUILT DYKE WITH
2:1 SLOPES (1970)
FLATTENED TO 2.75:1
IN 1977

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)
TENSION CRACK El. 193.3m (RAISED IN 1984)
1

2.75
1

INTERCEPTOR DITCH
(ADDED IN 1971)
El. 185m

2
1
PLASTIC ZONE

PLASTIC ZONES
El. 179m
El. 177m

El. 182m

2002 FAILURE PLANE (APPROXIMATE)

2B

El. 176m

MASS STRENGTH FOR


THE FOUNDATION

(d) After raising the pond level to el. 193.3m (F.S. = 1.20)
Figure 47. Zones of local failure in the Nanticoke dyke and foundation during its operation.

30

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

2A

K'o = 1.5

AS-BUILT DYKE WITH


2:1 SLOPES (1970)

4m
El. 197m (15m above ditch invert)

FLATTENED TO 2.75:1
IN 1977

2.75

El. 193.3m (from 1984-2002)

INTERCEPTOR DITCH
(ADDED IN 1971)
El. 185m

El. 197m

2
1

FS=0.98 (LIMIT EQUILIBRIUM ANALYSIS)


K'O = 1.5
PLASTIC ZONES (FE ANALYSIS)

El. 182m

2A
2B

Figure 48. Zones of local failure using residual strength parameters for the geometry and operating condition
from 1984 to 2002.

in significant zones of local failure in both the dyke


and the foundation. With more than 40% of the potential failure plane reached the peak strength or mass
strength of either the fill or foundation, respectively.
Such stresses significantly exceed the residual strength
of the dyke and foundation materials thereby inducing
the potential for softening and decrease of strength
from the peak or mass strength to the residual strength.
Figure 48 shows calculated zones of local failure based on the residual strength parameters of both
the foundation and the fill materials (cr = 13 kPa and
r = 15 ). The critical slip surface obtained from limit
equilibrium analysis is also plotted in Figure 48 for
the conditions considered. Base on this analysis, zones
of failure in the dyke and foundation are contiguous
and the dyke is on the verge of collapse (e.g. the factor of safety is about 1). In addition, the extent and
distribution of plastic zones from finite element analysis agree well with the results of limit equilibrium
analysis. Thus, the analysis summarized in Figure 48
indicates that the residual strength of the Nanticoke fill
and foundation was mobilized at the time of the 2002
failure. The time required for the failure to manifest
was 32 years after construction and about 18 years
after raising the level of the upstream pond.

this condition, there are no zones of local failure in


the dyke or the foundation. This is due primarily to the
positive effect of the ditch, which caused a reduction of
piezometric head in the dyke that counterbalanced the
removal of material from downstream of the dyke. For
this case, the calculated factor of safety of the dyke was
1.21, which is slightly lower than before excavating the
ditch.
In 1977, the downstream slope of the dyke was flattened from 2:1 to 2.75:1. The calculated zones of local
failure for this condition are plotted in Figure 47c.
Based on the finite element calculations, it appears
that flattening the downstream slope caused a stress
concentration and a zone of local plasticity near the
interceptor ditch. At this stage, the global factor of
safety of the dyke increased to about 1.28 based on
limit equilibrium analysis. Thus, a remedial measure
that was implemented to control shallow slumping of
the dyke fill caused a slight increase of the global factor
of safety; However, the remedial measure also created
a stress concentration near the downstream toe and
interceptor ditch.
The third and final change to the dyke geometry and
operation occurred in 1984 when the upstream pond
level was raised to el. 193.3 m. Figure 47d shows the
resultant zones of local failure and the eventual failure
surface for this condition.At the higher head pond level
(el. 193.3 m), there are extensive zones of local failure
in the fill and the foundation. Over 40% of the critical
slip surface has reached the peak strength of either the
dyke or foundation materials. From limit equilibrium
analysis, however, the global factor of safety was about
1.2, which at the time would probably not have caused
major concern.
Based on the preceding results and discussions, it is
concluded that changes to the Nanticoke dyke geometry and operating conditions had a significant impact
on the state of effective stresses in the Nanticoke dyke
and foundation. The impact of these changes did not
and could not be reflected on the global factor of safety
based on limit equilibrium analysis. The most significant change in the stress state occurred after raising the
upstream pond level to el. 193.3 m in 1984 resulting

This keynote address considers the implications of the


macroscopic and microscopic structures of clays on
the stability of earth structures. The microscopic structure consisting of the fabric and bonds of the clay
particles was studied by a review of the behaviour
of sensitive clays, experiments with electrokinetic
cementation and bonding in natural soils. The effects
of macroscopic structure which is mainly constituted by fissures in stiff clays and in the crust of
soft to firm clay deposits are examined using the
results of field tests and previous case histories. Two
recent case histories of failures, one in soft clay and
one in stiff-fissured clay, were analyzed in detail so
as to address some important issues relating to the

31

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSIONS

capability to predict imminent instability using a conventional design method. From the results of this study,
the following conclusions can be drawn:
(1) In sensitive clays, the concept of post-peak strength
developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s which
would allow for strength anisotropy time effects
and progressive failure and is independent of stress
paths remains valid. Design based on a post-peak
envelope would implicitly account for the effects
of microstructure.
(2) Electrokinetically-induced bonding tests showed
that iron compounds, and Fe2 O3 in particular,
are effective bonding agents capable of increasing the strength, inducing brittleness and producing pseudo-overconsolidation, all in substantial
amounts. An important mechanism of formation of
bonding is ionic diffusion.
(3) Mineralogical studies showed that iron compounds
are prevalent in Champlain Sea Clays both in the
soft and very stiff sensitive clays, acting as an
important bonding agent in these natural deposits.
(4) In clay deposits where fissuring is evident, it is
important to appreciate the difference in strength
of the intact material, along the fissures and the soil
mass (operational strength). The strength of stiff
fissured clays, whether in the undrained or drained
state, decreases with an increase in sample size
towards the mass strength in the field. Therefore,
strength determined from conventional U-U tests
on 50 mm samples would be on the unsafe side if
directly used for design.
(5) Field evidence indicates that the fissured crust of
soft to firm clay deposits showed similar behaviour
as stiff-fissured clay. The strength in the crust measured by the field vane test is close to the intact
strength and should therefore be reduced accordingly for the design of embankments on soft clay
deposits.
(6) Results of analysis of the Vernon Embankments and
Sk-Edeby Test Field emphasize the vast difference
in behaviour between different loading geometries
at the same surface loading. The key factor is the
generation and extent of the plastic zone which
delineates the region of damage to the microstructure of soft sensitive clays. Within the plastic zone,
pore pressure increases at a rapid rate and may continue to rise at constant loading due to an increase
in shearing strain causing further bond breakage.
Propagation of the plastic zone to the ground surface led to collapse (Vernon Embankment). For
stable embankments, no increase in strength with
time results within the plastic zone for long periods
(Sk-Edeby Embankment).
(7) As the critical height of the embankment is
approached, the stability of the embankment is
at a meta-stable state. The plastic zone increases

in extent at small increments of loading or by


progressive failure at constant loading. This state
of behaviour cannot be reflected in limit equilibrium analysis. Appropriate finite element or similar
stress analysis should be performed to delineate the
details of foundation behaviour.
(8) The use of mass (operational) strength in terms of
effective stress which accounts for the macrostructure of fissured clays appears to be able to capture
the development of plastic zones caused by postconstruction changes in geometric and groundwater conditions under long-term embankment
loading.
(9) Analogous to conclusion (7) relevant to soft clays,
factors of safety from limit equilibrium analysis
cannot reflect the subtle change in stability conditions for embankments in stiff-fissured clays. For
the evaluation of stability, the development of plastic zones due to minor changes in post-construction
condition should be investigated.
It is suggested that relevant sections of the above
conclusions may serve as additional design considerations for embankments on clay foundations.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors would like to acknowledgement the work
of Dr. Silvana Micic Trow International and Messrs.
Guangfeng Qu and Yi (George) Liang Graduate
Students at The University of Western Ontario. In addition, the research performed is supported by NSERC
Discovery Grant 7745-03. Appreciation is expressed
to Ontario Power Generation for the information on
the Ash Disposal Dyke of Nanticoke G.S.
REFERENCES
Becker, D.E. (1981). Settlement analysis of intermittentlyloaded structures founded on clay soils. PhD Thesis,
Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Western
Ontario.
Bieniawski, Z.T. (1968). The effect of specimen size on compressive strength of coal. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci.,
Vol. 5, pp. 325335.
Bishop, A.W. and Little, A.L. (1967). The influence of the
size and orientation of the sample on the apparent strength
of the London Clay at Maldon, Essex. Proceedings
Geotechnical Conference, Oslo 1, pp. 8996.
Bjerrum, L. and Lo, K.Y. (1963). Effect of aging on the
shear strength properties of a normally-consolidated clay.
Geotechnique, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 147157.
Bozozuk, M. and Leonards, G.A. (1972). The Gloucester
Test Fill. Proceedings of Specialty Conference on Performance of Earth and Earth-Supported Structures, ASCE,
Purdue University, Vol. 1, pp. 299317.
Carter, J.P. and Balaam, N.P. (1995). AFENA A General Finite Element Algorithm: Users Manual. School of

32

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Civil Engineering and Mining Engineering, University of


Sydney, N.S.W. 2006, Australia.
Casagrande, L. (1949). Electro-osmosis in soils. Geotechnique, Vol. 1, pp. 159177.
Conlon, R. J. (1966). Landslide on the Toulnustouc River,
Quebec. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 3, No. 3,
pp. 113144.
Corbett, B.O. (1967). Discussion, Proceedings: Geotechnical
Conference, Oslo, Norway, Vol. 2, pp. 161165.
Crawford, C.B. (1963). Cohesion in an undisturbed sensitive
clay. Geotechnique, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 132146.
Crawford, C.B., Fannin, R.J., deBoer, L.J. and Kern, C.B.
(1992). Experiences with prefabricated vertical (wick)
drains at Vernon, B.C. Canadian Geotechnical Journal,
Vol. 29, pp. 6769.
Crawford, C.B., Fannin, R.J. and Kern, C.B. (1995). Embankment failures at Vernon, British Columbia. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 271284.
Daniel, D.E. and Olson, R.E. (1982). Failure of an
anchored bulkhead. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, Proc. ASCE, Vol. 108, No. GT10,
pp. 13181327.
Dascal, O., Tournier, J.P., Tavenas, F. and La Rochelle, P.
(1972). Failure of test embankment on sensitive clay.
Proceedings, ASCE Specialty Conference on Performance of Earth and Earth-Supported Structures. Purdue
University, Lafayette, IN, Vol. 1, pp. 129158.
Dixon, J.B., Weed, S.B., Kittrick, J.A., Milford, M.H. and
While, J.L. (1977). Minerals in soil environments. Soil
Science Society of America, pp. 145176.
Graham, J. (2003). The R.M. Hardy Address: Soil parameters for numerical analysis in clays. Proceedings 56th
Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
September.
Hardy, R.M., Brooker, E.W. and Curtis, W.E. (1962). Landslides in over-consolidated clays. Engineering Journal,
45(1): 8189.
Holtz, R.D. and Broms, B. (1972). Long-term loading tests
at Sk-Edeby, Sweden. Proceedings of the ASCE Specialty Conference on the Performance of Earth-Supported
Structures, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, pp.
435464.
Holtz, R.D. and Lindskog, G. (1972). Soil movement below
a test embankment. Proceedings of the ASCE Specialty Conference on the Performance of Earth-Supported
Structures, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, pp.
273284.
Kenney, T.C., Moum, J., and Berre, T. (1967). An experimental study of bonds in a natural clay. Proceedings
Geotechnical Conference, Oslo 1, pp. 6569.
Kuluk, A.G. (1974). Private communications (describing
subsequent movements after Peterson et al. 1960 paper).
La Rochelle, P. and Lefebvre, G. (1971). Sampling disturbance in Champlain clays. American Society for Testing
and Materials, Special Technical Publication 483, pp.
143163.
La Rochelle, P., Trak, B., Tavenas, F. and Roy, M. (1974).
Failure of a test embankment on a sensitive Champlain
clay deposit. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 11, pp. 142
164.
Law, K.T. (1975). Analysis of embankments on sensitive
clays. PhD. Thesis, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Western Ontario.

Law, K.T. (1981). Effect of stress path geometry on soil


brittleness. Geotechnique, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 279287.
Lefebvre, G. (1981). Strength and slope stability in Canadian soft clay deposits. Fourth Canadian Geotechnical
Colloquium, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 420442.
Lefebvre, G. and La Rochelle, P. (1974). The analysis of
two slope failures in cemented Champlain clays. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, 2, pp. 89108.
Lefebvre, G., Par, I.J. and Dascal, O. (1987). Undrained
shear strength in surficial weathered crust. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 24, pp. 2334.
Leonards, G.A. and Ramiah, B.K. (1959). Time effect in
the consolidation of clays. American Society for Testing Materials, Special technical publication, 254, pp.
116130.
Leroueil, S. (2005). Clay behaviour and mobilized strength
in clay slopes. Proceedings of K.Y. Lo Symposium,
Geotechnical Research Centre, University of Western
Ontario.
Leroueil, S. and Vaughan, P.R. (1990). The general and congruent effects of structures in natural soils and weak rock.
Geotechnique, Vol. 40, pp. 467488.
Liang, Y. (2006). Progressive failure of the Nanticoke Ash
Lagoon Dyke, M.E.Sc. Thesis, the University of Western
Ontario.
Lo, K.Y. (1961). Stress-strain relationship and pore water
pressure characteristics of a normally-consolidated clay.
Proceedings Fifth International Conference on Soil
Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Paris, July 17-22,
Vol. I, pp. 219224.
Lo, K.Y. (1970). The operational strength of fissured clays.
Geotechnique, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 5774.
Lo, K.Y. (1972). An approach to the problem of progressive
failure. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp.
407429.
Lo, K.Y. (1973). Behaviour of embankment on sensitive clays
loaded close to failure. Report to Ontario Department of
Highways. SM-2a-73, Faculty of Engineering Science,
The University of Western Ontario, August.
Lo, K.Y. and Ho, K.S. (1991). Electroosmotic strengthening
of soft sensitive clays. Canadian Geotechnical Journal,
No. 28, pp. 6273.
Lo, K.Y. and Lee, C.F. (1974). An evaluation of the stability
of natural slopes in plastic Champlain clays. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 165181.
Lo, K.Y. and Morin, J.P. (1972). Strength anisotropy and
time effects of two sensitive clays. Canadian Geotechnical
Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 261277.
Lo, K.Y. and Vallee, J. (1970). Strength anisotropy due to
parallel planes of discontinuities in clays. Proceedings
Second Southeast Asian Conference on Soil Engineering,
Singapore, pp. 245263.
Lo, K.Y., Adams, J.I. and Seychuk, J.L. (1969). The shear
behaviour of a stiff fissured clay. Proceedings Seventh International Conference on Soil Mechanics and
Foundation Engineering, Mexico, Vol. I, pp. 249255.
Man, A., Graham, J., Alfaro, M. and Goh, T.B. (2003).
Changes in clay behaviour produced by seepage under
a water retention dyke. Proceedings 56th Canadian
Geotechnical Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September.
Marsland, A. and Butler, M.E. (1967). Strength measurements on stiff fissured Barton Clay from Fawley,

33

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Hampshire. Proceedings Geotechnical Conference, Oslo


1, pp. 139145.
Micic, S., Shang, J.Q. and Lo, K.Y. (2002). Electrokinetic strengthening of marine clay adjacent to offshore
foundations. International Journal of Offshore and Polar
Engineering, 12(1), pp. 6473.
Mitchell, J.K. (1976). Fundamentals of Soil Behaviour. John
Wiley & Sons Inc.
Mitchell, J.K. and Wan, T.Y. (1977). Electro-osmotic consolidation its effects on soft soils. Proceedings 9th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation
Engineering, Tokyo, Vol. 1, pp. 219224.
Morin, J.P. (1975). Geotechnical behaviour of two quaternary
clays from the central St. Lawrence lowland. Ph.D. Thesis.
Laval University.
Ohtsuki, H., Nishi, K., Okamoto, T. and Tanaka, S. (1981).
Time dependent characteristics of strength and deformation of a mudstone. Proceedings: Symposium on Weak
Rock, Tokyo, Japan, Vol. 1, pp. 119124.
Peterson, R., Jaspar, J.L., Rivard, P.J. and Iverson, N.L.
(1960). Limitations of laboratory shear strength in evaluating stability of highly plastic clays. Res. Conf. Shear
Strength Cohesive Soils, Boulder, American Society of
Civil Engineers, pp. 765791.
Quigley, R.M. (1968). Landslide on the Toulnustouc River,
Quebec: Discussion. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 3,
pp. 175177.
Quigley, R.M. and Ogunbadejo, T.A. (1972). Clay layer fabric and oedometer consolidation of a soft varved clay.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 9, pp. 165175.
Quigley, R.M. and Thompson, C.D. (1966). The fabric
of anisotropically consolidated sensitive marine clays.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 6173.

Quigley, R.M. (1980). Geology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of Canadian soft soils: a geotechnical perspective.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 17(2): 261285.
Rosenqvist, I.T. (1966). Norwegian research into the properties of quick clay a review. Engineering Geology, 1, pp.
445450.
Simons, N.E. (1967). Discussion on shear strength of stiff
clay. Proceedings Geotechnical Conference, Oslo 2, pp.
159160.
Skempton, A.W. (1977). Slope stability of cuttings in brown
London clay. Proceedings, IX International Conference
SMFE (Tokyo), Vol. 3, pp. 261270.
Skempton, A.W. and La Rochelle, P. (1965). The Bradwell
slip: a short-term failure in London Clay. Geotechnique,
Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 221241.
Skempton, A.W. and Petley, D.J. (1967). The strength
along structural discontinuities in stiff clays.Proceedings
Geotechnical Conference, Oslo 2, pp. 2946.
Skempton, A.W., Schuster, R.L. and Petley, D.J. (1969).
Joints and fissures in the London Clay at Wraysbury and
Edgware. Geotechnique, 19 No. 2, pp. 205217.
Trak, B., La Rochelle, P., Tavenas, F. and Leroueil, S. (1980).
A new approach to the stability analysis of embankments
on sensitive clays. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol.
17, pp. 526543.
Valle, J. (1969). The influence of fissures on the shear
behaviour of a stiff clay. MESc Thesis, Dept. of Civil
Engineering, Laval University.
Yong, R.N., Sethi, A.J. and La Rochelle, P. (1979). Significance of amorphous material relative to sensitivity in some
Champlain clays. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 16, pp.
511520.

34

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Soft soil stabilisation with special reference to road and


railway embankments
Buddhima Indraratna & Cholachat Rujikiatkamjorn
University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Vasantha Wijeyakulasuriya
Dept. of Main Roads, Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Mohamed A. Shahin
University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

David Christie
RailCorp (Sydney), NSW, Australia

ABSTRACT: Much of Australian railway tracks traverse coastal areas containing soft soils and marine deposits.
Pre-construction stabilization of soft formation soils by applying a surcharge load alone often takes too long. The
installation of prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) can reduce the preloading period significantly by decreasing
the drainage path length, sometimes by a factor of 10 or more. The analytical solution based on actual radial
soil permeability is proposed considering the variation of vacuum pressure, and the Cavity Expansion Theory is
employed to predict the smear zone caused by the installation of mandrel driven vertical drains. The predicted
smear zone and the effect of drain unsaturation are compared with data obtained from a large-scale radial
consolidation tests and the results are explained. When a higher load is required to meet the desired rate of
settlement and the cost of surcharge is also significant, the application of vacuum pressure with reduced surcharge
loading can be used. In this method, an external negative load is applied to the soil surface in the form of
vacuum pressure through a sealed membrane system. The applied vacuum pressure generates negative pore
water pressure, resulting in an increase in effective stress and accelerated consolidation, also avoiding the need
for a high surcharge embankment. The analytical and numerical analyses incorporating the authors equivalent
plane strain solution for both Darcian and non-Dracian flow are conducted to predict the excess pore pressures,
lateral and vertical displacements and several selected case histories are analysed and presented. Cyclic loading
of PVDs is also examined in the laboratory in a manner appropriate for railway environments. It is shown that
short PVDs can dissipate excess pore pressure as fast as they are built up under repeated loading conditions. The
research findings verify that the impact of smear and vacuum pressure can significantly affect soil consolidation,
and these aspects need to be simulated properly in the selected numerical approach. Finally, the use of native
vegetation to stabilise soft soils in railway environment is discussed with the aid of preliminary suction models
developed on the basis of evapotranspiration mechanics applied to tree roots.

INTRODUCTION

deposits have very low bearing capacity and excessive


settlement characteristics, affecting major infrastructure including buildings, roads and rail tracks (Johnson
1970). Therefore, it is essential to stabilize the existing
soft soils before commencing any construction activities in order to prevent differential settlements. Also in
such low-lying areas it is necessary to raise the existing
ground level to keep the surface above the groundwater
table or flood level. A common practice to overcome
these problems is to support the structure on special

Due to the rapid increase in population and associated


development activities taking place, especially in the
congested coastal areas, construction activities have
become concentrated in low-lying marshy areas, which
are comprised of highly compressible weak organic
and peaty soils of varying thickness (Indraratna et al.
1992a). The entire coastal belt is dotted with very
soft clays up to significant depths. These soft clay

35

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

foundations, which could accommodate differential


settlement to a greater degree, or to support them on
pile foundations (Indraratna et al. 1992b, 2005a). In the
case of a deep strong bearing stratum foundation, costs
may become prohibitively high and not commensurate
with the cost of the super structure, for example in the
case of rail tracks subject to cyclic loads (Broms 1987).
Preloading is the most successful ground improvement technique that can be used in low-lying areas.
It involves loading of the ground surface to induce a
greater part of the ultimate settlement that the ground
is expected to experience after construction (Richart
1957; Indraratna and Redana 2000; Indraratna et al.
2005a). In order to control the development of excess
pore pressures, this surcharge embankment is usually
raised as a multi-stage exercise with rest periods provided between the loading stages (Jamiolkowski et al.
1983). Since most compressible soils are characterised
by very low permeability and considerable thickness,
the time needed for the required consolidation can be
long, and also the surcharge load required may be significantly high (Indraratna et al. 1994). Currently this
may not be possible with busy construction schedules.
Installation of sand drains and geosynthetic vertical
drains can reduce the preloading period significantly
by decreasing the drainage path length in the radial
direction, as the consolidation time is inversely proportional to the square of the length of the drainage
path (Hansbo 1981; Indraratna and Redana 1998;
Indraratna and Redana 2000). Due to the rapid initial
consolidation, vertical drains will increase the stiffness and bearing capacity of soft foundation clays (Bo
et al., 2003).
Application of vacuum load can further accelerate the rate of settlement, generally compensating
for the adverse effects of smear and well resistance
(Indraratna et al. 2005b). Sand compaction piles provide significantly increased stiffness to soft compressible soils (Indraratna et al., 1997). Geosynthetic drains
are usually composed of a plastic core (protected by
fabric filter) with a longitudinal channel. The filter
(sleeve) is made of synthetic or natural fibrous material
with a high resistance to clogging. Vertical drains are
applicable for moderately to highly compressible soils,
which are usually normally consolidated or lightly
over consolidated, and for stabilizing a deep layer of
soil having a low permeability. The above remediation
techniques allow coastal structures such as transport
systems, embankments and tall buildings to be more
stable under large static and cyclic loads.
In this paper, the effects of the compressibility
indices, the variation of soil permeability and the magnitude of preloading are examined through the consolidation process. The smear zone prediction based
on the Cavity Expansion Theory is discussed based
on the large scale laboratory results. The equivalent
(transformed) permeability coefficients for plane

band-shaped
cross section

dw = f(a,b)
Geotextile filter

equivalent circular
cross-section

Figure 1. Conceptual illustration of band-shaped PVD and


equivalent diameter of drain well (Indraratna et al., 2005f).

strain condition are incorporated in finite element


codes, employing the modified Cam-clay theory. A
case history is discussed and analysed, including the
site of the New Bangkok International Airport (Thailand) and the predictions are compared with the available field data. The use of native vegetation for stabilising rail tracks is described with a selected case history,
with the aim of achieving reduced track settlement.

CHARACTERISTICS OF VERTICAL DRAINS


SYSTEM

2.1 Purpose and application of vertical drains


Various types of vertical drains including sand drains,
sand compaction piles, prefabricated vertical drains
(geosynthetic) and gravel piles have been commonly
used in the past. Apart from increasing cost of sand
quarying in some countries and conventional sand
drains that can be damaged from lateral ground movement, the flexible prefabricated vertical drains (PVD)
systems with relatively more rapid installation have
replaced the original sand drains and gravel piles. The
most common band shaped drains have dimensions of
100 mm 4 mm. For design purposes, the rectangular
(width-a, thickness-b) section must be converted to an
equivalent circle (diameter, dw ) because, the conventional theory of radial consolidation assumes circular
drains (Fig. 1).
The following typical equation is used to determine
the equivalent drain diameter:
dw = 2(a + b)/

(Hansbo, 1979)

(1)

Atkinson and Eldred (1981) proposed that a reduction factor of /4 should be applied to Eq. 1 to take
account of the corner effect where the flow lines rapidly

36

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Polypropylene core

dw=0.5(a+b) Rixner et al.(1986)

dw=0.5a+0.7b
Long & Covo (1994)

Relatively
uniform soil
mass
a) uniform bending

Band drain
a

dw=2(a+b)/
Hansbo (1979)

b) sinusoidal bending

H
Weak
zones

Weak
zones

Assumed water
flow net
Pradhan et al. (1993)
de

c) local bending

d) local kinking

e) multiple kinking

Figure 3. PVD Deformation modes (after Holtz et al. 1991).


Figure 2. Assessment of equivalent diameter of band shaped
vertical drains (Indraratna et al., 2005f).

C
L

Benchmark and
Dummy piezometer

converge. From the finite element studies, Rixner et al.


(1986) proposed that:
dw = (a + b)/2

1 2
1
2a
d + a 2 2 de
4 e
12

 
Then, dw = de 2 s2 + b

Piezometer
Sub-surfacesettlementplate

(3)

Figure 4. System of PVDs with sand blanket and surcharge


preloading (Indraratna et al. 2005d).

(4)

macrofabric. The sand blanket system is employed to


expel water away from the drains and to provide a
sound-working mat for vertical drain rigs.
Before installing the vertical drains, general site
preparations including the removal of vegetation and
surficial soil, establishing site grading and placing a
compact sand blanket are required.
Field instrumentation for monitoring and evaluating
the performance of embankments is vital to examine
and control the geotechnical problems. Based on the
construction stages, field instrumentation can be separated into two categories (Bo et al., 2003). The first
category is employed to prevent sudden failures during construction (e.g. settlement plates, inclinometers
and piezometers), whereas the second group is used
to record changes in the rate of settlement and excess
pore pressure during loading stages (e.g. multilevel
settlement gauges and piezometers).

More recently, Long and Covo (1994) found that the


equivalent diameter dw could be computed using an
electrical analogue field plotter:
dw = 0.5a + 0.7b

(5)

The discharge capacity is one of the most important


parameter that controls the performance of prefabricated vertical drains. The discharge capacity depends
primarily on the following factors (Fig. 3): (i) the area
of the drain; (ii) the effect of lateral earth pressure; (iii)
possible folding, bending and crimping of the drain
and (iv) infiltration of fine particles into the drain filter.
In practice, static and dynamic methods can be used
to install vertical drains. Static procedure is preferred
for driving the mandrel into the ground, whereas the
dynamic methods seem to create a greater disturbance
to the surrounding soil during installation (e.g. drop
hammer impact or vibrating hammer). A typical installation rig is shown in Fig. 4. The degree of disturbance
during installation depends on several factors such as
the soil types, mandrel size, mandrel shape and soil

2.2 Principles of PVD with vacuum preloading


The vacuum preloading method was originally introduced in Sweden by Kjellman (1952) for cardboard
wick drains. It has been used extensively to accelerate

37

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Sand Blanket

Inclinometer

(2)

Pradhan et al. (1993) suggested that the equivalent


diameter of band-shaped drains should be estimated
by considering the flow net around the soil cylinder of
diameter de (Fig. 2). The mean square distance of their
flow net is calculated as:
s2 =

Surface settlement plate

Sealed

pa

CL

pa
time

u0

Membrane

Vacuum Pump

Sand Blanket
Peripheral slurry
Trench

pa

Impervious
Slurry Wall

time

u0 = pa
= pa (u0 u) = u

Figure 5. Spring analogy of vacuum consolidation process


(adopted from Chu and Yan, 2005).

0
Time

-100

100

Maximum excess
pore pressure

0
Time

Vertical effective
stress (kPa)

-100

100

0
Time

-100

(a)

100

p (preloading
pressure

p0 (Vacuum
pressure)

Time

-100

100

Maximum excess
pore pressure

0
Time

-100

100

0
Time

-100

(b)

Figure 7. Consolidation process: (a) conventional loading


(b) idealised vacuum preloading (Indraratna et al. 2005d).

movement to embankment toe should be carefully


monitored.
The vacuum head can be distributed to a greater
depth of the subsoil using the PVD system.
The extent of surcharge fill can be decreased to
achieve the same amount of settlement, depending
on the efficiency of the vacuum system in the field
(i.e., air leaks).
Since the surcharge height can be reduced, the maximum excess pore pressure generated by vacuum
preloading is less than the conventional surcharge
method (Fig. 7).

The effective stress related to suction pressure


increases equiaxially, and the corresponding lateral
movement is compressive. Consequently, the risk of
shear failure can be minimized even at a higher rate
of embankment construction. However, the inward

38

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

p (preloading
pressure

Excess pore
pressure (kPa)

Excess pore
pressure (kPa)

Stress/
Pressure (kPa)

100

Vertical effective
stress (kPa)

the consolidation process for improving soft ground,


such as Philadelphia International Airport, USA and
Tianjin port, China (Holtan, 1965 and Yan and Chu,
2003). When a higher surcharge load is required to
meet the expected settlement and this cost becomes
substantial, a combined vacuum and fill surcharge
can be employed. In very soft clay area, where a
high surcharge embankment cannot be constructed
without affecting stability, the vacuum application is
preferable. Recently, the PVD system has also been
employed to distribute vacuum pressure to deep subsoil layer, thereby increasing the consolidation rate
of reclaimed land from the sea (e.g. Indraratna et al.
2005d, Chu et al. 2000). The mechanism of the vacuum preloading can be described by the spring analogy
provided by Chu and Yan (2005) (Fig. 5). The effective
stress increases through vacuum load while the total
stress remains constant.
For vacuum-assisted preloading, the installation of
some horizontal drains in the transverse and longitudinal directions is compulsory after installing the sand
blanket. Subsequently, these drains can be connected
to the edge of a peripheral Bentonite slurry trench,
which is normally sealed by an impervious membrane
(Fig. 6). The trenches can then be filled with water to
improve sealing between the membrane and Bentonite
slurry. The vacuum pumps are connected to the prefabricated discharge system extending from the trenches,
and the suction head generated by the pump accelerates dissipation of excess pore water pressure in the
soil towards the drains and the surface.
The characteristics of vacuum preloading in comparison with conventional preloading are as follows
(Qian et al., 1992):

Stress/
Pressure (kPa)

Figure 6. Vacuum-assisted preloading system (Indraratna


et al. 2005d).

20

CL Smear zone

Settlement (cm)

Heave

-p0

-40

Measured

Predicted
Perfect drain

-80

Smear only

-120

Vacuum
pressure
distribution

-160
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Distance from centreline (m)

ks kh

Excess pore pressure (kPa)

Figure 8. Surface settlement profile after 400 days


(Indraratna & Redana, 2000; Indraratna & Chu, 2005).
Measured

80

60

-k1p0

Both smear and


well resistance

Undisturbed zone

40

ds/2

Perfect drain

20

de/2

Smear only

0
0

100

200

300

Figure 10. Cylindrical unit cell with linear vacuum pressure


distribution (modified after Indraratna et al., 2005d).

400

Time (days)

Figure 9. Excess pore water pressure variation at piezometer location, P6 (after Indraratna & Redana, 2000; Indraratna
& Chu, 2005).

the small strain theory, and for a given stress range, a


constant volume compressibility (mv ) and a constant
coefficient of lateral permeability (kh ) are assumed
(Barron 1948, Hansbo 1981). However, the value of
mv varies along the consolidation curve over a wide
range of applied pressure (p). In the same manner,
kh also changes with the void ratio (e). Indraratna
et al. (2005c) have replaced mv with the compressibility indices (Cc and Cr ), which define the slopes
of the e-log  relationship. Moreover, the variation of
horizontal permeability coefficient (kh ) with void ratio
(e) during consolidation is represented by the e-logkh
relationship that has a slope of Ck .
The main assumptions are given below (Indraratna
et al. 2005c):

With vacuum pressure, the inevitable unsaturated condition at the soil-drain interface may be
improved, resulting in an increased rate of consolidation.

2.3

Field observation of retarded pore pressure


dissipation

It has been observed in some case studies that in spite


of PVDs, excess pore water pressures sometimes do
not dissipate as expected. This is often attributed to
filter clogging, extreme reduction of the lateral permeability of soil, damage to piezometer tips etc. However,
recent numerical analysis suggests that very high lateral strains and corresponding stress redistributions
(e.g. substantial heave at the embankment toe) can also
contribute to retarded rate of pore pressure dissipation.
Some examples are shown in Figs. 8 and 9.

(1) Homogenous soil is fully saturated whereby


Darcys law is adopted. At the external periphery of the unit cell, flow is not allowed to occur
(Fig. 10). For relatively long vertical drains, only
radial (horizontal) flow is allowed (i.e. no vertical
flow).
(2) Soil strain is uniform at the upper boundary of the
unit cell (i.e. no differential settlement in a unit
cell). The small strain theory is valid.
(3) The relationship between the average void ratio
and the logarithm of average effective stress in
the normally consolidated range (Fig. 11) can be
expressed by: e = e0 Cc log (  /i ). If the current vertical effective stress (  ) is less than pc , then
for this overconsolidated range, the recompression
index (Cr ) is used rather than Cc .

3 THEORY OF RADIAL CONSOLIDATION


3.1 Axisymmetric unit cell analysis
Linear Darcian flow:
Conventional radial consolidation theory (including smear and well resistance) has been commonly
employed to predict the behaviour of vertical drains
in soft clay. Its mathematical formulation is based on

39

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

expressed as:

e
e0

Slope Cr

Ru =

Slope Cc




p0 (1 + k1 )
8Th
exp
p
2

p0 (1 + k1 )

p
2
1+

(6)

In the above expression,

ef

Th = Pav Th

'i

p'c

'i + p

Pav = 0.5[1 + (1 + pi + p0

log v

(1 + k1 )/2i )1Cc /Ck ]


Th = ch t/de2

Figure 11. Soil compression curve (after Indraratna et al.,


2005c).

= ln
e

Slope Ck
ef

Figure 12. Semi-log permeability-void


Indraratna et al., 2005c).

khi

log kh
ratio

(after

(4) For radial drainage, the horizontal permeability of soil decreases with the average void ratio
(Fig. 12). The relationship between these two
parameters is given by Tavenas et al. (1983):
e = e0 + Ck log (kh /khi ) The permeability index
(Ck ) is generally considered to be independent of
stress history (pc ) as explained by Nagaraj et al.
(1994).
(5) According to Indraratna et al. (2004), the vacuum
pressure distribution along the drain boundary is
considered to vary linearly from p0 at top of the
drain to - k1 p0 at the bottom of the drain, where k1
is a ratio between vacuum pressure at the bottom
and the top of the drain (Fig. 10)

(9)

n kh
+  ln s 0.75
s
kh

U p = 1 Ru

(10)

(11)

The average degree of consolidation based on settlement (strain) is defined by:


Us =

(12)

The associated settlements () are then evaluated by


the following equations:

The dissipation rate of average excess pore pressure ratio (Ru = ut /p) at any time factor (Th ) can be

40

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(8)

where, = a group of parameters representing the


geometry of the vertical drain system and smear
effect, n = de /dw , s = ds /dw , de = equivalent diameter
of cylinder of soil around drain, ds = diameter of smear
zone and dw = diameter of drain well, kh = average
horizontal permeability in the undistrubed zone (m/s),
and kh = average horizontal permeability in the smear
zone (m/s). p = preloading pressure, Th is the dimensionless time factor for consolidation due to radial
drainage.
Since the relationship between effective stress and
strain is non-linear, the average degree of consolidation can be described either based on excess pore pressure (stress) (Up ) or based on strain (Us ). Up indicates
the rate of dissipation of excess pore pressure whereas
Up shows the rate of development of the surface settlement. Normally, Up  = Us except when the effective
stress and strain is a linear relationship, which is in
accordance with Terzaghis one-dimensional theory.
Therefore, the average degree of consolidation based
on excess pore pressure can be obtained as follows:

e0

kh

(7)

 

HCr
log
,
1 + e0
i

i  pc

(13a)

 
  

p

H
Cr log c + Cc log 
,
1 + e0
i
pc
pc  i + p

 

HCc
log
1 + e0
i

where i1 =
(13b)

(13c)
t=

It is noted that can be obtained by substituting  = i + p into the above equations. In


the above equations, = settlement at a given
time, c = total primary consolidation settlement,
i = effective in-situ stress,  = effective stress,
Cc = compression index, Cr = recompression index
and H = compressible soil thiskness.
Depending on the location of the initial and final
effective stresses with respect to the normally consolidated and overconsolidated domains, the following is
a summary of the relavant computational steps.

v = k(i io ) for

i i1

(14)

n1 


1

1
(1 U h )n1

(18a)

1
n1

3n 1 n(3n 1)(5n 1)
(n 1)2
2
2n (5n 1)(7n 1)

  (1(1/n))
1
D
h
+
1
2n
s
ds

 
h D (1(1/n))

s dw

(18b)

For multi-drain simulation, the plane strain finite element analysis can be readily adapted to most field
situations (Hansbo 1981; Indraratna and Redana 1997;
Indraratna and Redana 2000). Nevertheless, realistic
field predictions require the axisymmetric properties
to be converted to an equivalent 2D plane strain condition, especially with regard to the permeability coefficients and drain geometry (Indraratna and Redana
1997). The plane strain analysis can also accommodate vacuum preloading in conjunction with vertical
drains (e.g. Gabr and Szabo 1997). Mohamedelhassan and Shang (2002) discussed the application of
vacuum pressure and its benefits, but without any vertical drains. Subsequently, Indraratna et al. (2005b)
proposed the equivalent plane strain approach for the
simulation of vacuum pressure for the vertical drain
system.

(15)
(16)

41

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Dw
uo

3.2 Equivalent plane strain approach for


multi-drain analysis

Non-Darcian flow:
Hansbo (1997) stated that at small hydraulic gradients,
conventional linear Darcys law may be replaced by a
non-Darcian flow condition defined by an exponential relationship. Based on non-Darcian flow, Hansbo
(1997) modified the classical axisymmetric solutions.
The pore water flow velocity, v caused by a hydraulic
gradient, i might deviate from the original Darcys
law v = ki, where under a certain gradient io below
which no flow occurs. Then the rate of flow is given
by: v = k(i io ), hence, the following relations have
been proposed:
i i1

When n 1 Eq. (18) gives the same result as the average degree of consolidation represented by Eq. (9),
provided that well resistance is neglected and assuming
= ch and h /s = kh /ks .

When the value of Cc /Ck approaches unity and p0


becomes zero, the authors solution converges to the
conventional solution proposed by Hansbo (1981):

for

D2

where the coefficient of consolidation = hwM ,


M = 1/mv is the oedometer modulus, D is the diameter of the drain influence zone, ds is the diameter of
smear zone, n = D/dw where dw is the drain diameter,
uo is the initial average excess pore water pressure, and
n2n n
is 4(n1)
n+1 where,

(1) If both the initial and final effective stresses are


in the normally consolidated range, Equations (6)
and (11) are employed to calculate Up , whereas
Equations (12) and (13c) are used to compute Us .
(2) If both the initial and final effective stresses are
in the overconsolidated range, Equations (6) and
(11) are employed to calculate Up , and Equations
(12) and (13a) are used to determine Us .
(3) If the initial effective stress falls on the overconsolidated domain and the final effective stress is
on the normally consolidated domain, then Equations (6) and (11) are employed to calculate Up ,
Equations (12) (13a) and (13b) are employed to
calculate Us .

v = in

(17)

In order to study the non-Darcian effects, Hansbo


(1979, 1997) proposed an alternative consolidation
equation. The time required to reach a certain average degree of consolidation including smear effect is
given by:

for normally consolidated clay

Ru = exp ( 8Th /)



io n
and = n1 i1n k
(n 1)

Darcian Flow:
Indraratna and Redana (1997, 1998, 2000) and
Indraratna et al. (2005b) converted the vertical drain
system shown in Fig. 13 into an equivalent parallel
drain wall by adjusting the coefficient of permeability
of the soil, and by assuming the plane strain cell (a
width of 2B). The half width of the drain bw and half
width of the smear zone bs may be kept the same as
their axisymmetric radii rw and rs , respectively, which
suggests bw = rw and bs = rs .
Indraratna et al. (2005b) proposed the average
degree of consolidation in plane strain condition by:
u
=
u0





p0p (1 + k1 )
8Thp
1+
exp
uo
2
p
p0p (1 + k1 )

u0
2

l z

ks

khp
p = + () 
khp

rs

(19a)



b2
bs
+ s2
1
B
3B

bs
1
(bs bw )2 + 3 (3b2w b2s )
B2
3B


khp

khp

(b) Plane strain

khp
kh

 

kh
n
ln s + k  ln (s) 0.75

(23)

(20a)

(20b)

khp
0.67
=
kh
[ln (n) 0.75]

(24)

For vacuum preloading, the equivalent vacuum pressure in plane strain and axisymmetric are the same.
Non-Darcian Flow:
Sathananthan and Indraratna (2005) determined the
solution for equivalent plane strain under non-Darcian
flow. The converted permeability relationship is
given by:

(21)


hp = 2h

n 1 p
2n2

n
(25)

Ignoring the smear effect in Eq. (25), the equivalent


plane strain permeability in the undisturbed zone is
now obtained as:
 
 n
fp n, bBw
hp
hp


=2
=
(26a)
h

2f n, rRw

(22)

Making the magnitudes of R and B to be the same,


Indraratna and Redana (2000) presented a relation
. The influence of smear
ship between khp and khp
effect can be modelled by the ratio of the smear

42

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

bs

If smear and well resistance effects are ignored in


the above expression, then the simplified ratio of
plane strain to axisymmetric permeability is readily
obtained, as also proposed earlier by Hird et al. (1992),
as follows:

Combining Equations (14) and (17) with equation


(14) of original Hansbo theory (Hansbo, 1981), the
time factor ratio can be represented by the following
equation:
khp R2
Thp
P
=
=

Th
kh B 2

bw

zone permeability to the undisturbed permeability, as


follows:

(19b)

At a given effective stress level and at each time step,


the average degree of consolidation for both axisymmetric (U p ) and equivalent plane strain (U p, pl)
conditions are made equal, hence:
U p = U p,pl

kwp
khp k'
hp

Figure 13. Conversion of an axisymmetric unit cell into


plane strain condition (after Indraratna and Redana, 2000).

where, u0 = initial excess pore pressure, u = pore pressure at time t (average values) and Thp = time factor in

plane strain, khp and khp
are the undisturbed horizontal
and the corresponding smear zone equivalent permeabilities, respectively. The geometric parameters and
, are given by:
2 2bs

3
B

(a) Axisymmetric

u =
0
z

rw

and


Drain
Smear
zone

kw

kh

SMEAR ZONE DETERMINATION


Excess pore pressure

Sathananthan (2005) made an attempt to estimate the


extent of smear zone, caused by mandrel installation using the Cylindrical Cavity Expansion theory
incorporating the modified Cam-clay model (MCC)
as explained elsewhere by Collins & Yu (1996) and
Cao et al. (2001). Only a summary is given below. For
soil obeying the MCC model, the yielding criterion is:

= M (pc /p ) 1
(27)

Horizontal/Vertical permeability ratio

(28)

q
2
p = rp +
3
3

(31)
rp
r

q
dr
r

(32)

Employing Equations (30)(32), the excess pore pressure due to mandrel driving (u) can be determined
by:
u = (p p0 ) (p p0 )

Mean Consolidation Pressure:


6.5 kPa
16.5 kPa
32.5 kPa
64.5 kPa
129.5 kPa
260 kPa

Smear zone

0.00

50

100

150

200

5 THE EFFECT OF DRAIN UNSATURATION


DURING INSTALLATION

(33)

where, p0 = initial total mean stress. The extent of the


smear zone can be suggested as the region in which the
excess pore pressure tends to exceed the initial over
burden pressure (v0
) (Fig. 14). This is because, in the

Unsaturation of soil adjacent to the drain can occur due


to mandrel withdrawal (air gap) or application of vacuum pressure through PVDs. Indraratna et al. (2004)
attempted to describe the apparent retardation of pore

43

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

drain
0.50

region surrounding the drains (r < rp ), the soil properties (permeability and soil anisotropy) are altered

severely at radial distance where u = v0
.
Based on laboratory tests conducted on a largescale consolidometer at University of Wollongong, the
smear zone extent can be quantified either by permeability variation or water content variation along
the radial distance (Indraratna and Redana, 1997;
Sathananthan and Indraratna, 2006). Fig. 15 shows the
variation of the ratio of the horizontal to vertical permeabilities (kh /kv ) at different consolidation pressures
along the radial distance, obtained from large-scale
laboratory consolidation. The variation of the water
content with radial distance is shown in Fig. 16. As
expected, the water content decreases towards the
drain, and also the water content is greater towards
the bottom of cell at all radial locations.

(30)

1.00

Figure 15. Ratio of kh /kv along the radial distance from the
central drain (after Indraratna and Redana 1995).



q = p

1.50

Radial distance, R (mm)

where, a = radius of the cavity, a0 = initial radius of


the cavity, = Poissons ratio, = slope of the overconsolidation line, = specific volume, OCR = over
consolidation ratio and  = 1 ( is the slope
of the normal consolidation line). Finally, the corresponding mean effective stress, in terms of deviatoric
stress, total stress and excess pore pressure, can be
expressed by the following expressions:
OCR
1 + (/M)2

Distance (r)

2.00

1
(M + )(1 OCR 1)
f (M, , OCR) = ln

2
(M )(1 + OCR 1)

(29)
+ tan1 ( OCR 1)
tan1
M

Smear
zone

Figure 14. Smear zone prediction by the Cavity Expansion


Theory.

where,

p = p0

u = ' v0

rp

where, pc : the stress representing the reference size of


yield locus, p = mean effective stress, M = slope of
the critical state line and = stress ratio. Stress ratio
at any point can be determined as follows:


(a2 a20 )
2(1 + )

ln 1
=
2
r
3 3(1 2)

f (M, , OCR)
2 3
M

Vertical drain

70

Smear zone

69

Soil Model Parameters

Values

Critical state void ratio, ecs


Critical state line slope, M
Permeability in undisturbed zone, khp (m/s)
Poissons ratio,

Permeability in smear zone, khp
(m/s)

0.15
0.05
1.55
1.1
9.1 1011
0.25
3.6 1011

68
Drain

Water content (%)

Table 1. Modified Cam-clay parameters used in consolidometer analysis (Indraratna et al., 2004).

(a)

67

Applied pressure (kPa)


25
50
100
200

66
65
64

(b)

Unsaturated elements

25
50
100
200

0.04
Drain

(wmax-w)/wmax

Applied pressure (kPa)

0.02

0
0

r/rm

Figure 16. (a) water content, and (b) normalized water content reduction with radial distance at a depth of 0.5 m (after
Sathananthan and Indraratna, 2006).

0.95m

pressure dissipation in large-scale laboratory testing


through a series of models, considering the effects of
unsaturation at the drain-soil interface.
The consolidation behaviour of soft clay in the
large-scale consolidometer under combined vacuum
and surcharge preloading was analysed using the
FEM programme ABAQUS, incorporating the modified Cam-clay theory (Roscoe and Burland 1968). Fig.
17 illustrates the plane strain finite element discretisation employing 8-noded linear strain quadrilateral
elements (CPE8RP) with 8 displacement nodes plus
4 pore pressure nodes. It is sufficient to analyse one
half of the cell due to symmetry. The soil moisture
characteristic curve (SMCC) including the effect of
drain unsaturation was captured by a thin layer of drain
elements governed by elastic properties. The converted permeability coefficients based on Indraratna
and Redana (2000) method and the apparent past
maximum pressure are listed in Table 1.
The following 3 models were analysed:
Model 1 fully saturated soil with linear vacuum
pressure distribution along the drain length. The soil
behaviour is based on the modified Camclay parameters (Table 1).
Model 2 The soil is initially fully saturated. With
the application of linearly varying vacuum pressure,
a layer of unsaturated elements is simulated at the
PVD boundary. The thin unsaturated layer is modeled
elastically (E = 1000 kPa, = 0.25).

Open
drain
boundary

Figure 17. FEM discritisation for plane strain analysis in


large-scale consolidometer (Indraratna et al. 2004).

Model 3 Conditions are similar to Model 2, but


the variation of vacuum pressure with time (vacuum
removal and reloading) is included.
Fig. 18 shows the surface settlement predicted from
the above described models. The predictions prove
that the assumption of unsaturated soil layer at the
drain-soil boundary with time dependent vacuum pressure variation (Model 3) is justified. Full saturation
represented by Model 1 over-predicts the settlement,
illustrating the effect of mandrel induced unsaturation.
The predicted and measured values of excess pore
water pressure (mid layer) are presented in Fig. 19,
and Models 2 and 3 agree well with the laboratory

44

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.225m

15 m

Stage 1
Surcharge load
=40kPa

Perforated Pipe

2.5 m

Settlement (mm)

S1

0.8 m

-20

5m

10 m

10 m

Geomembrane (LLDPE)
S3

S2

Vacuum Pump
S4

LBM

0.0 m

-3 m

Stage 2
Surcharge load
=100kPa

-40

Bentonite

Legend
Surface settlement plate
Stand-pipe piezometer
Extensometer
Electrical piezometer
Inclinometer

-6 m
-9 m

-12 m

PVD, S=1.00 m.

-15m

-60

Figure 20. Cross section of embankment TV2 and location


of monitoring system (Indraratna et al., 2005d).

-100
0

Measurements
Model 1
Model 2
Model 3

10

20

Depth (m)

-80

30

10

Figure 18. Predicted and measured settlement at the top of


consolidometer (Indraratna et al. 2004).

15
4

4.4

4.8

5.2

5.6

rs/rw

80

Excess pore water pressure (kPa)

Figure 21. Variation of smear zone with depth by the Cavity


Expansion theory (where, rs : radius of smear zone, and rw :
radius of drain) (Indraratna et al., 2005d).

60

6 APPLICATION TO CASE HISTORIES


Surcharge load
40 kPa

6.1 Second Bangkok International Airport

40

20
Model 1
Model 2
Model 3
Measurements
0

Site Characteristics and Embankment Details


The Second Bangkok International Airport (SBIA) has
been constructed since 1965 to replace the existing airport. The location of the airport is on a low-lying soft
clay. Ground improvement techniques are imperative
prior to the airport construction to prevent excessive settlement and lateral movement. Several trial
embankments were built at this site, one of them (TV2)
was built with PVDs and vacuum application (Asian
Institute of Technology, 1995). Fig. 20 illustrates the
vertical cross sections and the positions of field instruments, where 12m long PVDs with perforated and
corrugated pipes wrapped together in non-woven geotextile were used. The 0.8 m sand platform served as a
drainage blanket was constructed with an air and water
tight linear low density polyethylene (geomembrane)
liner placed on top of the drainage system. This liner
was sealed by placing its edges at the bottom of the
trench perimeter and covered with a 300 mm layer of
bentonite and then submerged with water.
The extent of the smear zone with depth was predicted using the cavity expansion theory as explained
in Section 4. The predicted smear zone variation with
depth for each soil layers is shown in Fig. 21.
A vacuum pressure up to 70 kPa (equivalent to 4 m
height of embankment) was applied using the available

Surcharge load
100 kPa

10

20

30

Time (Days)

Figure 19. Predicted and measured excess pore water pressure (Indraratna et al. 2004).

observations. As expected, Model 1 (fully saturated)


gives the lowest pore pressures, suggesting the unsaturated soil-drain boundary causing the retardation of
excess pore water pressure dissipation. In view of
both settlements (Fig. 17) and excess pore pressures
(Fig. 18), Model 3 provides the most accurate predictions in comparison with the laboratory measurements.
There is no doubt, the probable drain unsaturation is an
important aspect that should be captured in numerical
modelling, especially under vacuum pressure application. The adoption of correct SMCC in finite element
analysis is desirable.

45

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Vacuumpressure (kPa)

Embankment height (m)w

3
2
1
= 18kN/m3
0

0
-20
-40
-60
0

40

80
Time (days)

120

160

Time (days)
Figure 23. Time dependent vacuum pressure (Indraratna
et al., 2005d).

Figure 22. Multi-stage loading (Indraratna et al., 2005d).

vacuum equipment. The surcharge load was applied in


4 stages upto 2.5 m high (the unit weight of surcharge
fill is 18 kN/m3 ) as illustrated in Fig. 22. During the
application of vacuum pressure, the measured suction
head could not be constantly maintained as shown in
Fig. 23. This variation has been attributed to air leaks
through the surface membrane or the loss of suction
head beneath the certain depth for long PVD. Intersection of natural macro-pores with drains at various
depths also lead to suction head drops, at various times.
The settlement, excess pore water pressure, and lateral
movement were recorded 160 days.
Multi-drain analysis using FEM incorporating
proposed equivalent plain strain model
The consolidation behaviour was analysed using the
finite element software ABAQUS. The equivalent
plane strain model (Equations 1415) as well as the
modified Cam-clay theory (Roscoe and Burland, 1968)
were used in the analysis (Indraratna et al., 2005d). The
ratios of kh /ks and ds /dw determined in the laboratory are approximately 1.52.0 and 34, respectively,
however in practice these ratios can vary from 1.5 to
6 depending on the type of drain, mandrel size and
shape and installation procedures used (Indraratna and
Redana, 2000). The constant values of kh /ks and ds /dw
for this case study were assumed to be 2 and 6, respectively (Indraratna et al., 2004). For the plane strain
FEM simulation, the equivalent permeability inside
and outside the smear zone was determined using
Equations (14) and (15). The discharge capacity (qw ) is
assumed high enough and can be neglected (Indraratna
and Redana, 2000).
The finite element mesh contained 8-node biquadratic displacement and bilinear pore pressure
elements (Fig. 24). Only the right hand side of the
embankment was modeled due to symmetry, as shown
in Fig. 24. The incremental surcharge loading was
simulated at the upper boundary.
The following 4 distinct models were numerically examined under the 2D multi-drain analysis
(Indraratna et al., 2005d):
Model A: Conventional analysis (i.e., no vacuum
application);

Figure 24. Finite element mesh for plane strain analysis


(modified after Indraratna et al. 2005d).

Model B: Vacuum pressure varies according to field


measurement and decreases linearly to zero at the
bottom of the drain (k1 = 0);
Model C: No vacuum loss (i.e. 60 kPa vacuum pressure was kept constant after 40 days); vacuum pressure
diminishes to zero along the drain length (k1 = 0); and
Model D: Constant time-dependent vacuum pressure
throughout the soil layer (k1 = 1).
Fig. 25 compares surface settlement between prediction and measurement (centreline). Model B predictions agree with the field data. Comparing all the
different vacuum pressure conditions, a vacuum application combined with a PVD system is found to
accelerate the consolidation process significantly. With
vacuum application, most of the primary consolidation
is achieved around 120 days, whereas conventional
surchage (same equivalent pressure) requires more
time to complete primary consolidation (after 150
days). It is also apparent that a greater settlement can
be obtained, if any loss of vacuum pressure can be
minimised (Model C).
Fig. 26 presents the predicted and measured excess
pore pressures. The field observations are closest to
Model B, implying that the authors assumption of
linearly decreasing time-dependent vacuum pressure
along the drain length is justified. Excess pore pressure

46

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

lateral displacement (m)

-0.3

Inward
-0.2
-0.1

-0.4

Outward
0.1
0.2

Weathered crust layer

-0.8

Model A
Model B
Model C
Model D
Adjusted vacuum
Field measurement

4
Soft clay layer

Field measurement
Model A
Model B
Model C
Model D

-1.2

-1.6
0

40

80
Time (Days)

Depth (m)

Settlement (m)

0
0

8
10

120

160

12
14

Figure 25. Surface settlements (modified after Indraratna


et al., 2005d).

Figure 27. Calculated and measured lateral displacements


distribution with depth (modified after Indraratna et al.,
2005d).

0.00
0

-20

0.02

-40

Depth (m)

Excess pore water pressure (kPa)

20

Field measurement
Model A
Model B
Model C
Model D

-60

13 days
12

40

80
Time (Days)

120

16

Unstabilized

13 days
(Failure)

PVD stabilized

20

160

Figure 28. Curtailing lateral displacements due to PVDs


(after Indraratna et al., 1997).

Figure 26. Variation of excess pore water pressure at 3 m


below the surface and 0.5 m away from centreline (modified
after Indraratna et al., 2005d).

displacement divided by the maximum embankment


height.

generated from the vacuum application is less than the


conventional case, which enables the rate of construction of an embankment to be higher than conventional
construction.
The predicted and measured lateral displacements
(at the end of embankment construction) are shown
in Fig. 27. As described by Indraratan et al. (2005d),
the observed lateral displacements do not agree well
with all vacuum pressure models. In the middle of
the very soft clay layer (45 m deep), the predictions
from Models B and C are closest to the field measurements. Nearer to the surface, the field observations
do not agree with the inward lateral movements predicted by Models B and C. The discrepancy between
the finite element models and the measured results is
more evident in the topmost weathered crust (02 m).
As discussed by Indraratna et al., 1997, if vertical
drains are not provided and the surcharge embankment is raised quickly, it can fail in 13 days in the
absence of effective pore pressure dissipation. In contrast, the same clay formation stabilised with PVDs
shows insignificant lateral displacement after 13 days.
Even after 7 years, the normalised lateral displacements will be less than that without PVDs (Fig. 28).
Normalised lateral displacement is the absolute lateral

6.2 Ska-edeby embankment, Stockholm, Sweden


The practical application of non-Darcian plane strain
solution is demonstrated through a well documented
pilot study (Ska-Edeby, 25 km west of Stockholm,
Sweden). The site details including the construction
history and soil parameters are given elsewhere by
Hansbo, 1997; 2005. Here, for the purpose of discussion, Area II with an equivalent loading of 32 kPa is
selected. Sand drains of 180 mm diameter are installed
in an equilateral triangular pattern at 1.5 m spacing (i.e.
D = 1.58 m).
In Figure 29, the estimated degree of consolidation based on the Darcian axisymmetric, non-Darcian
axisymmetric (Hansbo, 1997) and non-Darcian plane
strain solutions (Sathananthan and Indraratna, 2005)
are plotted with the available field data at embankment
centerline. The predicted values based on non-Darcian
flow seem to agree better with the field data in relation
to the Darcian (conventional) analysis. However, in the
opinion of the authors, this difference is usually small,
and for all practical purposes the conventional Darcy
conditions are sufficient.

47

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.10

7 years

-80
0

Normalized Lateral Displacement E


0.04
0.06
0.08

non-Darcian equivalent plane strain (Authors)


non-Darcian axisymmetry (Hansbo, 1997)

Degree of consolidation (%)

Darcian axisymmetry (Hansbo, 1981)


Field Data

25

50

75

100

2
Consolidation time (years)

(a)

Figure 29. Degree of consolidation at the embankment centreline with time for Area II, Ska-Edeby field study (after
Hansbo, 2005; Sathananthan & Indraratna, 2005).

(b)

Figure 30. (a) Large-scale triaxial rig, (b) soil specimen.

7.1 Laboratory testing


7

PERFORMANCE OF SHORT VERTICAL


DRAINS SUBJECTED TO CYCLIC TRAIN
LOADS

A large-scale triaxial test was used to examine the


effect of cyclic load on the radial drainage and consolidation by PVDs (Fig. 30a). This testing chamber
is capable of accommodating specimens of 300 mm
diameter and 600 mm high (Fig. 30b). The excess pore
water pressure was monitored via miniature pore pressure transducers. These instruments were saturated
under deaired water with vacuum pressure, and then
fitted through the base of the cell to the desired sample
locations.
A reconstituted estuarine clay was tested. The sample was lightly compacted to a unit weight of about 17
to 17.5 kN/m3 . Ideally, testing requires the simulation
of k0 conditions that may typically vary in the range of
0.60.7 in many coastal regions of Australia. Most soft
clays will have natural water contents exceeding 75%,
and Plasticity Index above 35%. It is not uncommon
to find undrained shear strengths of softest estuarine
deposits to be less than 8 kPa. In Northern Queensland,
some very soft clays that have caused embankment
problems have been characterised by cu values less
than 5 kPa.
The tests could be conducted at frequencies of
510 Hz, typically simulating train speeds of say 60
100 km/h of 2530 tonnes/axle train loads. Fig. 31
shows an example of the excess pore pressure
recorded, which indicates that the maximum excess
pore water pressure beside the PVD during the cyclic
load application (T4) are significantly less compared to
that near the cell boundary (T3). Also as expected, the
excess pore pressures close to the outer cell boundary (e.g. T1 and T3) dissipated at a slower rate than
T4 and T2 closer to the PVD. The test results reveal
that PVDs decrease the maximum excess pore pressure
effectively even under cyclic loading.

Low-lying areas with high volumes of plastic clays


can sustain high excess pore water pressures during
both static and cyclic (repeated) loading. The effectiveness of prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) for
dissipating cyclic pore water pressures is discussed
here. In poorly drained situations, the increase in
pore pressures will decrease the effective load bearing capacity of the formation. Even if the rail tracks
are well built structurally, undrained formation failures
can adversely influence the train speeds apart from the
inevitable operational delays. Under circumstances of
high excess pore water pressures, clay slurrying may
be initiated pumping the slurried soil upwards under
cyclic loads, clogging the clean ballast and causing
poor drainage.
As described earlier, PVDs accelerate consolidation and curtail lateral movements. The stability of
rail tracks and highways built on soft saturated clays
is often governed by the magnitude of lateral strains,
even though consolidation facilitates a gain in shear
strength and load bearing capacity. If excessive initial settlement of deep estuarine deposits cannot be
tolerated in terms of maintenance practices (e.g. in
new railway tracks where continuous ballast packing
may be required), the rate of settlement can still be
controlled by: (a) keeping the drain length relatively
short, and (b) optimising the drain spacing and the
drain installation pattern. In this way, while the settlements are acceptable, the reduction in lateral strains
and gain in shear strength of the soil beneath the track
improve its stability significantly.

48

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

104 kPa @2.5m width

Excess pore pressure (kPa)

T2 T1
15

8
4
6

T3

T4
End of cyclic loading

1117 9
66 51 23 20
14 10
68 53 25 22 19 16 13

T4

10

67 52 24 21 18 15

T1

26 12

T2
40

80

40 m

Soil layer 2 unstabilised

T3
0

Soil layer 1stabilized Crust


by PVDs

120

Time (mins)

Figure 31. Dissipation of excess pore pressure at various


locations from the PVD.
0

85 m

7.2

Numerical analysis

Figure 32. Vertical cross section of track and formation.

Attempts to consolidate deep estuarine soft clays (up to


3040 m) may take a very long time and often uneconomical, especially when relatively high surcharge
embankments cannot be raised rapidly due to obvious stability problems. Under railway tracks, where
the significant proportion of the applied load is usually sustained within the first several meters of the
formation, assuming sufficient ballast and subballast
depths are provided. In this regard, there is no need for
improving the entire depth of soft clay deposit, hence,
relatively short PVDs without prolonged preloading
may still be adequate in design. Short PVDs (58 m)
may still dissipate the cyclic pore pressures, curtail
the lateral movements and increase the shear strength
and bearing capacity of the soft formation to a reasonable depth below the sub-ballast. In other words,
this will provide a stiffened section of the soft clay
up to several meters in depth, supporting the rail
track within the predominant influence zone of vertical
stress distribution.
In railway engineering, repeated train loading is
usually modelled as a static load corrected by an
impact load factor (dynamic amplification factor). The
value of impact load factor may be changed according to the field conditions simulated on track (Esveld,
2001). In the following example, a static load of 80 kPa
with an impact factor of 1.3 is applied. A typical
cross-section of the formation beneath the rail track
is shown in Fig. 32, where a relatively shallow very
soft clay deposit is underlained by a deeper soft soil
layer of slightly higher stiffness. PVDs are only used
to stabilize the shallow soil layer immediately beneath
the track. A FEM, 2D plane strain model (Indraratna
and Redana, 2000) using triangular elements with
6 displacement nodes and 3 pore pressure nodes is
considered.
Soil Properties are summarised in Table 2. Top compacted soil crust including sub-ballast fill (1 m in thickness) and the ballast layer (300 mm thick) are modelled

Table 2. Assumed parameters for soft soil foundation and


ballasted track (300 mm of ballast thickness and 1m thick
compacted fill and crusted layer).
Depth
of
c

layer (m) Model (kPa) (degree) /(1 + e0 ) /(1 + e0 )


+0.3
0-1
1-10
10-30

5
29
10
15

45
29
25
20

0.15
0.12

0.03
0.02

Note: M-C = Mohr-Coulomb, S-S = Soft Soil

by Mohr-Coulomb theory. The two layers of soft normally consolidated clays are conveniently modelled
using the modified Cam-clay theory (Roscoe and Burland, 1968). For typical track conditions, unit weight of
artificially compacted granular fills is assumed around
16.517 kN/m3 with a deformation modulus not more
than 200 MPa. The saturated unit weights of the soft
clay layers is assumed to be 15.516 kN/m3 (deeper
soil layer having the higher unit weight).
The rapid dissipation of excess pore water pressure due to PVDs is clearly beneficial. More than 65%
excess pore pressure dissipation is seen within first
45 months (Fig. 33). In the absence of preloading
embankment or vaccum preloading, the corresponding initial settlements induced by short PVDs is less
than 0.5 m after about 3 months. This settlement can
still be acceptable over a routine maintenance period
by packing more ballast with time. More significant
is the considerable reduction of lateral displacement
in the PVD stabilised soil underlying the compacted
crust (Fig. 34). While long-term lateral displacements
at shallow depths (@ 3 m) could be as large as
250300 mm, the PVDs are shown to decrease the

49

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

M-C
M-C
S-S
S-S

100

80
Excess pore pressure (kPa)

No PVD
With PVDs @ 1.5m spacing
Percentage Finer (%)

60

40

80

Unaffected Soilwith Uniformity


Coefficient = 1.6

60

Soil Disturbed by Tsunami


with Uniformity Coefficient = 4.6

40

Transported finer sediments


20

20
0
0.01

0.1

0
0

100

200
300
Time (days)

400

10

500

Figure 35. Particle size distribution curves of the tsunami


affected and unaffected soils.
Depth
(m)

Figure 33. Excess pore pressure dissipation at 2 m depth at


centre line of rail track.

qc(MPa) and fs (10kPa)


5

10

15

Frition Ratio (%)


20

Cone resistanse, qc
1

-4
Depth (m)

Particle Size (mm)

-8

Pore pressure (kPa)


2

50

100

Remolded sand and


finemarine sediments
Disturbed loose muddy sand
Loose silty sand
Medium dense sand with
mixture of silt

Reduction in
lateral displacement

3
Sleeve friction, fs
4

-12

No PVD
With PVDs @ 1.5m spacing

Loose silty sand

-16
7

-20

0.1

0.2

Lateral displacment (Sh,m)

Figure 34. Ultimate lateral displacement profiles near the


embankment toe.

from 1.6 to 4.6 in this particular location as a result of


considerable turbulent mixing.
Also near the same locations, standard cone penetrometer testing with pore pressure measurement
(CPTU) was conducted to re-examine the soil profile
up to about 10 m deep (e.g. Fig. 36). The friction ratios
determined for shallow depths (less than 1 m) confirm
remoulded, metastable sands and/or mixed fine grained
soils (marine silts and clays transported by waves) with
increased sensitivity. The presence of peat is identified
by the suddenly increased friction ratio. The test results
also indicated significantly increased water content of
the soil affected by the infiltration of water (Fig. 36).
The extreme remoulding by tsunami waters and the
blending of fine marine muds (transported) with fine
beach has resulted in a significant decrease in the original unit weight as well as causing relatively poor
drainage conditions (i.e. compared to the pre-tsunami
era, the surface soil is not free-draining anymore).
Increased degree of saturation now allows excess pore
pressures to be developed and sustained upon loading.
In such situations, the ground improvement benefits

Soil improvement for Tsunami devastated areas

The Boxing Day tsunami in December 2004 devastated


several South and Southeast Asian countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand. The effect of
tsunami waves on the surface soils is briefly discussed
here, in view of the ground improvement needs for
reconstruction of infrastructure including roads and
railways. The first author was an invited expert in
the post-tsunami site investigations of the devastated
southern coast of Sri Lanka, and various soil testing
was conducted under his guidance. At a trial pit beside
a major rail disaster (more than 1000 casualties in the
overturned and damaged train carriages), the particle
size distributions (Fig. 35) indicated blended and significantly more well-graded nature of the fine sandy
soils close to the surface, in the areas where uniform
and relatively clean fine beach sand existed before
the tsunami. The uniformity coefficient has changed

50

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Loose silty sand

Figure 36. Cone penetration test with pore pressure (CPTU)


results of soil layers after tsunami occurrence.

lateral displacement by about 25%. This numerical


example demonstrates the role of short PVDs installed
beneath rail tracks.
7.3

Medium dense sand

0.3

Transpiration

Transpiration

Capony
Trunk

Assumed
root zone
or
uptake
volume
Root water uptake
(a)

Water flow
(b)

Figure 37. Schematic sketch of soilplantatmosphere


equilibrium: (a) transpiration; (b) soilplantatmosphere
interaction (Indraratna et al., 2006).

from conventional vibratory compaction and preloading to increase the shear strength. Particularly in
railway track areas, the use of short PVDs will be most
advantageous for dissipating cyclic pore pressures and
curtailing lateral displacements as described earlier.
The use of short PVDs to facilitate the dissipation
of cyclic pore pressures are imperative to consider
through sound research evidence.

Figure 38. Trench excavation to examine the root density


distribution of a native tree (Miram, VIC, Australia).

USE OF NATIVE VEGETATION ON THE


STABILISATION OF SOFT FORMATIONS

Soil suction
Soil suction retards the free water movement towards
the root zone and affects the transpiration rate. The root
water uptake (S(x, y, z, t)) is represented by a combined
function of the maximum possible root water uptake,
Smax , and matric suction, :

The tree roots provide an effective form of natural soil


reinforcement apart from dissipating the excess pore
water pressure, and generate sufficient matric suction
to increase the shear strength of the surrounding soil.
In Australia, various forms of native vegetation grow
along rail corridors. It is well recognised that such
biostablisation has a number of mechanical and hydrological effects on ground stability. The loss of moisture
from the soil due to uptake by tree roots may be categorized as: (a) water used for metabolism in plant tissues,
and (b) water transpired to the atmosphere from the
canopy (foliage). In order to quantify pore pressure dissipation and induced matric suction, Indraratna et al.
(2006) introduced an appropriate mathematical model
for considering soil suction, root density and potential
transpiration (Fig. 37).
8.1

S(x, y, z, t) = Smax (x, y, z, t)f ()

(34)

S(x, y, z, t) denotes the root water uptake at point


(x, y, z) at time t.
Root distribution
In the development of the model, the geometric slope
of the root zone has to be assumed, based on the field
observation of typical root cross sections. Trench excavation is one of the appropriate methods to map the
root density distribution (Fig. 38). The distribution of
transpiration within the root zone depends on the root
density, hence,

Conceptual modelling
S(x, y, z, t) = f ()G()F(TP )

The main variable for estimating the transpiration rate


is the rate of root water uptake, which is difficult to
assess because of the considerable variation of root
geometry from one species to another. In this section,
the key factors, such as soil suction, root distribution
and potential transpiration rate are briefly discussed.

where, G() is a function associated with the root density distribution, F(TP ) is a function to consider the
potential transpiration distribution, and (x, y, z, t) is
the root density.

51

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(35)

Table 3. Parameter used in the finite element analysis


(Indraratna et al., 2006)
Value

Reference

rmax
zmax
PI
an
w
d
e0

Cc
ks

9m
1.5 m
23
4.9 kPa
1500 kPa
40 kPa
0.60
21 kN/m3
0.13
1010 m/s

Biddle (1983)
Biddle (1983)
Biddle (1983)
Feddes et al. (1978)
Feddes et al. (1978)
Feddes et al. (1978)
Powrie et. al (1992)
Powrie et. al (1992)
Skempton (1944)
Lehane and Simpson (2000)

Figure 39. Geometry and boundary conditions (Indraratna


et al., 2006).
Change in soil matric suction (kPa)

Parameter

Potential transpiration
The potential transpiration is defined as evaporation
of water from plant tissues to the atmosphere, assuming that the soil moisture content is not restricted. The
potential transpiration is, therefore, estimated by:
TP = ETP EP

(36)

where, TP is overall transpiration, ETP is the potential


evapotranspiration (both plant and soil), and EP is the
potential evaporation from the soil surface.
The finite element program ABAQUS was used to
evaluate the soil suction generated by transpiration.
Equations (34)(36) are incorporated as a sub-routine
in ABAQUS supplementing the effective stress-based
equations.

0.5m depth

1200
1000

Line of maxima

800
600
1m depth

400
200

1.5m depth

0
0

Horizontal distance from the tree trunk (m)

Figure 40. Predicted soil matric suction in various depths


(Indraratna et al., 2006).

8.2 Verification of the proposed Root Water uptake


model
To verify the model for rate of root water uptake, a
case history reported by Biddle (1983) has been considered for a lime tree grown in Boulder clay. The
estimated parameters based on the available literature are shown in Table 3. Fig. 39 illustrates the mesh
and element geometry and boundary conditions of
the finite element model. A two-dimensional plane
strain mesh employing 4-node bilinear displacement
and pore pressure elements (CPE4P) was considered.
The maximum change in the soil matric suction from
the finite element analysis (fig. 40) is found at about
0.5m depth, which coincides with the same location of
the maximum root density.
A comparison between the field measurements and
the FEM predictions for moisture content reduction
around the lime tree is presented in Fig. 41. The
numerical model is in accordance with the field observations by Biddle (1983). The main differences noted
between field data and the predictions are observed at
68 m from the trunk. This discrepancy is attributed
to the simplicity of the assumed root zone shape. In
addition, the foliage prevents uniform distribution of

Figure 41. Contours of volumetric soil moisture content


reduction (%) close to a lime tree: (a) Biddle (1983), (b)
FEM predictions (Indraratna et al., 2006).

rainfall around the tree. As a result, moisture content can increase at the canopy edges, thereby further
contributing to this disparity
Fig. 42 shows the ground settlement at various
depths. In this analysis, only the suction related settlement was considered. On the surface, the predicted
80 mm settlement beside the tree trunk decreases to
less than 20 mm, at a distance 10 m away from the

52

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1400

predict accurately. This may be attributed to the complexity of evaluating the true magnitudes of soil
parameters inside and outside the smear zone, correct
drain properties as well as the aspects of soil-drain
interface unsaturation. Therefore, one needs to use
the most appropriate laboratory techniques to obtain
parameters, preferably using large-scale testing equipment. It was found that the smear zone radius was 23
times the radius of the mandrel. The soil permeability
in the smear zone is higher than that in the undisturbed
zone by a factor of 1.52.
For large construction sites, where many PVDs are
installed, the plane strain analysis is sufficient given the
computational efficiency. Recently developed conversion from axisymmetric to plane strain condition gives
good agreement with measured data. These simplified
plane strain methods can be rapidly employed in the
numerical analysis. A finite element code (ABAQUS)
was employed to analyse the behaviour of PVDs and
compared with field measurements. A conversion procedure based on the transformation of permeability
and vacuum pressure was also proposed to establish
the relationship between the axisymmetric (3D) and
equivalent plane strain (2D) conditions. The equivalent plane strain solution was applied for selected case
histories, demonstrating its validity in predicting the
real behaviour. Field behaviour as well as model predictions indicate that the efficiency of vertical drains
depends on the magnitude and distribution of vacuum
pressure as well as the degree of drain saturation during
installation.
The accurate prediction of lateral displacement at
shallow depths depends on the correct assessment of
soil properties including the overconsolidated surface
crust.This compacted layer is relatively stiff, and therefore it resists inward movement of the soil upon the
application of vacuum pressure. The modified Camclay model is inappropriate for modeling the behavior
of the weathered and compacted crust. This surface
crust is sufficient to be modeled as an elastic layer
rather than a soft elasto-plastic medium. The analysis of case histories proves that the vacuum application
via PVD substantially decreases lateral displacement.
As a result, the potential shear failure during rapid
embankment construction can be avoided.
There is no doubt that a system of vacuum-assisted
consolidation via PVDs is a useful and practical
approach for accelerating radial consolidation. Such a
system eliminates the need for a high surcharge load,
as long as air leaks can be prevented in the field. Accurate modeling of vacuum preloading requires both
laboratory and field studies to quantify the nature of
vacuum pressure distribution within a given formation
and drain system.
The ground improvement techniques including
PVDs prior to rail track construction can be applied
in coastal areas containing a high percentage of clayey

Horizontal distance from tree trunk (m)


0

10

40

60

Ma
set ximu
tlem m
line ent

Settlement (mm)

20

z=0m
z=1m

80
z=2m
z=6m
100

Figure 42. Ground settlement at various depths.

trunk. As shown in Fig. 42, the location of the maximum settlement is closer to the trunk at shallower
depths, which tends to coincide with the points of
maximum change in suction (Fig. 40).
It was shown that the numerical analysis incorporating the proposed model could predict the variation
of moisture content surrounding the tree trunk. Knowing the moisture content variation, the development of
matric suction can be predicted reasonably well using
the SMCC. Native biostabilisation improves the shear
strength of the soil by increasing the matric suction,
and also decreases the soil movements. This contribution from trees grown along rail corridors and rail slope
is of immense benefit for improving track stability in
problematic soil. In other words, native vegetation generating soil suction is comparable to the role of PVDs
with vacuum pressure, in terms of improved drainage
(pore water dissipation), and associated increase in
shear strength. In addition, the tree roots provide a
natural reinforcement effect, which the current model
has not simulated thus far.
9

CONCLUSIONS

For several decades, various types of vertical drains


have been used to accelerate the rate of primary consolidation. A revised mathematical model for soft
clay stabilised by vertical drains incorporating the
compressibility indices (Cc and Cr ) and vacuum surcharge has been introduced.The variation of horizontal
permeability coefficient (kh ) was represented by the elogkh relationship. The variables such as the slopes
of the e-log  relationship(Cc and Cr ), the slope of elogk h relationship(Ck ), vacuum pressure ratio (VPR)
and the loading increment ratio (p/i ) were explicitly integrated in the mathematical model to predict the
consolidation behaviour.
The lateral displacements and pore pressures dissipation associated with PVDs are often difficult to

53

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Chu, J., and Yan, S.W. 2005. Application of vacuum preloading method in soil improvement project. Case Histories
Book (Volume 3), Edited by Indraratna, B. and Chu, J.,
Elsevier, London, pp. 91118.
Chu, J., Yan, S.W. and Yang, H. 2000. Soil improvement by
the vacuum preloading method for an oil storage station.
Geotechnique, Vol. 50, No. 6, pp. 625632.
Collins, I. F. andYu, H. S. 1996. Undrained Cavity Expansion
in Critical State Soils. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Vol. 20, pp.
489516.
Feddes, R.A., Kowalik, P. J. and Zaradny, H. 1978. Simulation
of field water use and crop yield. Simulation Monograph.
Pudoc, Wageningen, pp. 930
Gabr M.A., and Szabo D.J. 1997. Prefabricated vertical drains
zone of influence under vacuum in clayey soil. Proceedings of the Conference on In Situ Remediation of the
Geoenvironment, ASCE, 449460.
Hansbo, S. 1979. Consolidation of clay by band-shaped prefabricated drains. Ground Eng., Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 1625.
Hansbo, S. 1981. Consolidation of fine-grained soils by prefabricated drains. In Proceedings of 10th International
Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Stockholm, Balkema, Rotterdam, 3, pp. 677682.
Hansbo, S. 1997. Aspects of vertical drain design Darcian or non-Darcian flow. Gotechnique Vol. 47, No. 5,
pp. 983992.
Hansbo, S. 2005. Experience of consolidation process from
test areas with and without vertical drains. Ground
ImprovementCase Histories Book (Volume 3), Edited by
Indraratna, B. and Chu, J., Elsevier, London, Chapter 1.
pp. 349.
Holtz, R.D., Jamiolkowski, M., Lancellotta, R. and Pedroni,
S. 1991. Prefabricated vertical drains: design and performance, CIRIA ground engineering report: ground
improvement. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd, UK, 131 p.
Hird C.C., Pyrah I.C., and Russel D. 1992. Finite element
modeling of vertical drains beneath embankments on soft
ground. Geotechnique, Vol. 42(3), pp. 499511.
Holtan, G.W. 1965. Vacuum stabilization of subsoil beneath
runway extension at Philadelphai International Airport. In
Proc. of 6th ICSMFE, 2.
Indraratna B., and Chu J. 2005. Ground Improvement Case
Histories Book (Volume 3), Elsevier, London 1115 p.
Indraratna B., and Redana I.W. 1997. Plane strain modeling
of smear effects associated with vertical drains, Journal of
Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE,
Vol. 123(5), pp. 474478.
Indraratna, B., and Redana, I. W. 1998. Laboratory determination of smear zone due to vertical drain installation. J.
Geotech. Eng., ASCE, Vol. 125 No. 1, pp. 9699.
Indraratna, B., and Redana, I. W. 2000. Numerical modeling
of vertical drains with smear and well resistance installed
in soft clay. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 37, pp.
132145.
Indraratna, B., Balasubramaniam, A. S. and Balachandran,
S. 1992a. Performance of test embankment constructed
to failure on soft marine clay. Journal of Geotechnical
Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 118, No. 1, pp. 1233.
Indraratna, B., Balasubramaniam, A., Phamvan, P. and Wong,
Y.K. 1992b. Development of Negative Skin Friction on
Driven Piles in Soft Clay. Canadian Geotechnical Journal,
Vol. 29, June issue, pp. 393404.

soils. It was shown that short prefabricated vertical


drains (PVDs) can be used under rail tracks to dissipate cyclic excess pore pressure and curtail lateral
displacements to improve stability. Native vegetation
can also be used close to the rail track to reduce settlement and lateral movement. The proposed root water
uptake and transpiration model verifies that the suction
induced by the tree roots contributes to a substantial
gain shear strength. Similar to PVDs, the tree roots
induce good drainage, pore water pressure dissipation
and in addition provide natural reinforcement of the
soil. As the influence zone of each tree can be several
meters in radius, the methodological planting of native
trees along rail corridors at a practical distance away
from the track is currently considered by rail organizations in Australia. Considering various soil conditions,
the type of vegetation and atmospheric conditions, the
proposed mathematical model for biostabilsation is
most useful to predict the formation behaviour in a
rail track environment.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to thank the CRC for Railway Engineering andTechnologies (Australia) for its continuous
support. Cyclic testing of PVD stabilised soft soil
forms a part ofAnaasAttyas doctoral thesis. Extensive
research on biostabilisation by native trees is currently conducted by doctoral student Behzad Fatahi.
A number of other current and past doctoral students,
namely, Redana, Bamunawita, and Sathananthan have
also contributed to the contents of this keynote paper.
More elaborate details of the contents discussed in
this paper can be found in previous publications of the
first author and his research students in ICE proceedings (Geotechnical Engineering), ASCE and Canadian
Geotechnical Journals, since mid 1990s.
REFERENCES
AIT. 1995. The Full Scale Field Test of Prefabricated Vertical Drains for The Second Bangkok International Airport
(SBIA). AIT, Bangkok, Thailand.
Barron, R.A. 1948. Consolidation of fine-grained soils by
drain wells. Transactions ASCE, Vol. 113, pp. 718754.
Biddle P.G. 1983. Pattern of soil drying and moisture deficit
in the vicinity of trees on clay soils. Geotechnique, Vol.
33, No. 2, pp. 107126.
Bo, M. W., Chu, J., Low, B. K., and Choa, V. 2003. Soil
improvement; prefabricated vertical drain techniques,
Thomson Learning, Singapore.
Broms, B. 1987. Soil improvement methods in SoutheastAsia
for soft soils. Asian regional conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Kyoto, Japan, Vol. 2, pp.
2964.
Cao, L. F., Teh, C. I., and Chang, M. F. 2001. Undrained
Cavity Expansion in Modified Cam Clay I: Theoretical
Analysis." Geotechnique, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 323334.

54

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Indraratna, B., Balasubramaniam, A. S., and Ratnayake, P.


1994. Performance of embankment stabilized with vertical drains on soft clay. J. Geotech. Eng., ASCE, Vol. 120,
No. 2, pp. 257273.
Indraratna, B., Balasubramaniam, A. S. and Sivaneswaran,
N. 1997. Analysis of settlement and lateral deformation
of soft clay foundation beneath two full-scale embankments. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical
Methods in Geomechanics, Vol. 21, pp. 599618.
Indraratna, B., Bamunawita, C., and Khabbaz, H. 2004.
Numerical modeling of vacuum preloading and field
applications. Canadian Geotechechnical Journal, Vol. 41,
pp. 10981110.
Indraratna, B., Rujikiatkamjorn C., and Sathananthan, I.,
2005a. Analytical modeling and field assessment of
embankment stabilized with vertical drains and vacuum
preloading. The Proceedings of the 16th International
Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 1216 September 2005, Osaka, Japan, Edited by
the 16th ICSMGE committee, Millpress, Rotterdam, the
Netherlands. pp. 1049-1052.
Indraratna, B., Rujikiatkamjorn C., and Sathananthan, I.
2005b. Analytical and numerical solutions for a single
vertical drain including the effects of vacuum preloading.
Canadian Geotechinical Journal, Vol. 42, pp. 9941014.
Indraratna, B., Rujikiatkamjorn C., and Sathananthan, I.
2005c. Radial consolidation of clay using compressibility indices and varying horizontal permeability. Canadian
Geotechinical Journal, Vol. 42. pp. 13301341.
Indraratna, B., Rujikiatkamjorn C., Balasubramaniam, A. S.
and Wijeyakulasuriya, V. 2005d. Predictions and observations of soft clay foundations stabilized with geosynthetic
drains and vacuum surcharge. Ground Improvement
Case Histories Book (Volume 3), Edited by Indraratna,
B. and Chu, J., Elsevier, London, pp. 199230.
Indraratna, B., Sathananthan, I., Rujikiatkamjorn C. and Balasubramaniam, A. S. 2005e. Analytical and numerical
modelling of soft soil stabilized by PVD incorporating
vacuum preloading. International Journal of Geomechanics, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 114124.
Indraratna, B., Sathananthan, I., Bamunawita, C. and A.S.
Balasubramaniam. 2005f. Theoretical and Numerical Perspectives and Field Observations for the Design and
Performance Evaluation of Embankments Constructed on
Soft Marine Clay. Ground ImprovementCase Histories
Book (Volume 3), Edited by Indraratna, B. and Chu, J.,
Elsevier, London, Chapter 2. pp. 61106.
Indraratna, B., Fatahi, B. and Khabbaz, H. 2006. Numerical
analysis of matric suction effects of tree roots. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Geotechnical
Engineering, Vol 159 No. GE2, pp. 7790.
Jamiolkowski, M., Lancellotta, R., and Wolski, W. 1983. Precompression and speeding up consolidation. Proc. 8th
ECSMFE, pp. 12011206.
Johnson, S. J. 1970. Precompression for improving foundation soils. J. Soil. Mech. Found. Div., ASCE, Vol.96, No.
1, pp. 111114.
Kjellman, W. 1948. Accelerating consolidation of fine grain
soils by means of cardboard wicks. Proc. 2nd ICSMFE,
2, pp. 302305.

Lehane, B.M. and Simpson, B. 2000. Modelling glacial till


under triaxial conditions using a BRICK soil model"
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 37, pp. 10781088.
Long, R.P. and Covo, A. 1994 Equivalent diameter of vertical
drains with an oblong cross section. J. Geotech. Eng. Div.,
ASCE, Vol. 120, No. 9, pp. 16251630.
Mohamedelhassan E., and Shang, J.Q. 2002. Vacuum and surcharge combined one-dimensional consolidation of clay
soils, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 39: 11261138.
Pradhan, T.B.S., Imai, G., Murata, T., Kamon, M. and Suwa,
S. 1993 Experiment study on the equivalent diameter of
a prefabricated band-shaped drain. Proc. 11th Southeast
Asian Geotech. Conf., Vol. 1, pp. 391396.
Nagaraj, T.S., Pandian, N.S. and Narashima Raju, P.S.R.
1994. Stress-state-permeability relations for overconsolidated clays. Gotechnique, Vol. 44(2), pp. 349352.
Powrie, W., Davies, J.N., and Britto, A. M. 1992. A cantilever
retaining wall supported by a berm during temporary
work activities. ICE conference on retaining structures,
Robinson College, Cambridge, pp. 418428.
Qian, J.H., Zhao, W.B., Cheung, Y.K. and Lee, P.K.K. 1992.
The theory and practice of vacuum preloading. Computers
and Geotechnics, Vol. 13, pp. 103118.
Richart F.E. 1957. A review of the theories for sand drains.
Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division,
ASCE, Vol. 83(3), pp. 138.
Rixner, J.J., Kraemer, S.R. and Smith, A.D. 1986 Prefabricated Vertical Drains, Vol. I, II and III: Summary of
Research Report-Final Report. Federal Highway Admin.,
Report No. FHWA-RD-86/169, Washington D.C, 433 p.
Roscoe, K.H., and Burland, J.B. 1968. On the generalized
stress strain behavior of wet clay. Engineering plasticity,
Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge, U.K., 535609.
Sathananthan, I. 2005. Modelling of Vertical Drains with
Smear Installed in Soft Clay. PhD Thesis, Universtiy of
Wollongong, 264p.
Sathananthan, I. and Indraratna, B. 2006. Plane Strain Lateral Consolidation with Non-Darcian Flow. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 43, pp. 119133.
Sathananthan, I. and Indraratna, B. 2006. Laboratory Evaluation of Smear Zone and Correlation between Permeability
and Moisture Content. Submitted to Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE (in press).
Skempton, A.W. 1944. Notes on compressibility of clays.
Quarterly Journal of Geological Society, London, Vol.
100, No. 2, pp. 119135.
Tavenas, P., Jean, P., L eblond, P., and Leroueil, S. 1983. The
permeability of natural soft clays. Part II: permeabiltiy
characteristics. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. Vol. 20,
pp. 645659.
Wattegama, C. 2005. The seven tsunamis that hit the isle of
Sri Lanka. Engineering News, Institution of Engineers Sri
Lanka, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 67.
Yan, S.W. and Chu, J. 2003. Soil improvement for a road
using a vacuum preloading method. Ground Improvement,
Vol.7, No.4, pp. 165172.

55

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Modelling and numerical simulation of creep in soft soils


P.A. Vermeer & M. Leoni
Institut fr Geotechnik, University of Stuttgart, Germany

M. Karstunen
University of Strathclyde, UK

H.P. Neher
Ed. Zblin AG, Technical Head Office, Germany

ABSTRACT: At Stuttgart University an isotropic creep model has been developed, in which Modified Cam
Clay type of ellipses are used to describe the contours of volumetric creep strain rate in p-q plane. Starting from
the simplest case of 1D creep, the 3D formulation of an isotropic creep model is given. This constitutive model has
been implemented in a finite element program and validated by simulating simple lab tests, as published in other
papers. In this paper the isotropic creep model is used to simulate a complex boundary value problem, namely
the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The isotropic model is able to capture many aspects of soil time-dependent behaviour,
but nevertheless further model development is necessary. Therefore a new anisotropic creep model is proposed,
based on the experimental observation of many natural soils. The anisotropic creep model is a straightforward
generalization of the IC model in which the anisotropic fabric tensor is adopted and the Modified Cam Clay
ellipses are replaced by rotated ovals in p-q plane.

INTRODUCTION

When a saturated clay is loaded one usually distinguishes between primary consolidation and secondary
compression. During consolidation excess pore pressures are transferred into effective stresses, whereas
all stresses are constant during secondary compression. Straining at constant stress is referred to as pure
creep.
Pure creep at constant effective stress occurs both
in the laboratory and in the field, but in the most
general situation stresses change with time. In such
general cases one cannot use the traditional logarithmic time-law of secondary compression. Instead, one
needs to express the rate of creep strain as a function
of stress in order to obtain a visco-elastic or a viscoplastic model. In this paper the traditional concept of
secondary compression will straightforwardly be converted into an elastic-visco-plastic model as illustrated
by Figure 1. The elastic strains are typically observed
in unloading and reloading of clays, whereas primary
loading of normally consolidated clays is dominated
by creep strains, i.e. by visco-plastic strains. Indeed,
viscous material behaviour does not only occur during secondary compression, but also during primary
consolidation of NC-clays.

Figure 1. Elastic-visco-plastic model.

In soil mechanics creep has primarily been studied for one-dimensional compression. The pioneering
results of Buisman (1936) and Garlanger (1972) have
established the logarithmic time law, whilst Bjerrum
(1967) added the concept of a creep dependent preconsolidation stress as also used in the present study.
In these early studies, however, the void ratio is a function of the creep time and such models cannot be used
when stresses vary with time.
The above pioneering research was continued by
various researchers as nicely reviewed by Leroueil
(1987). For one-dimensional compression an elasticviscoplastic model in the sense of Figure 1, has among
others been proposed by Yin and Graham (1999). The

57

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1D version of the models presented here are somewhat similar, but in contrast with Yin and Graham,
the concept of a preconsolidation stress as measured
in standard oedometer tests is retained. Fast constant
strain rate oedometer tests (Leroueil et al. 1985; Sllfors 1975) may give e-log  lines beyond the normal
consolidation line (NCL), but this does not mean that
one should drop the NCL-concept. Instead, it needs
further consideration as discussed later on. For this
reason the 1D version of the model is described in
detail.
On developing models for general states of stress
and strain, one generally begins with the simplifying
assumption of material isotropy. Similarly, the early
3D creep model by Adachi and Okano (1974) and the
one by Nova (1982) assume material isotropy. This
also applies to the models by Vermeer et al. (1998) and
Yin and Graham (1999). The isotropic creep model by
Stolle et al. (1997) forms the basis of a new anisotropic
creep model described in this paper. It is shown that
this is a viscoplastic version of the well-known Modified Cam Clay model. Moreover, the application of the
isotropic creep model to 3D modelling of the Leaning
Tower of Pisa is presented.
No doubt, natural clays are highly anisotropic and
the final aim of constitutive modelling must be to
describe anisotropic soil behaviour. Pioneering work
in that sense was done by Sekiguchi and Ohta (1977),
Gens and Nova (1993) and Wheeler et al. (2003). The
latter adopted a rotated yield surface in p-q plane which
is embraced as normal consolidation surface in the
present study. It is shown that this rotated oval matches
measured creep lines. Finally, it is demonstrated that
the new anisotropic creep model yields highly realistic stress paths in undrained triaxial extension, and
consequently realistic values for the undrained shear
strength.

Figure 2. Variation of the creep rate with OCR for = 27.

strain implies a change of void ratio and it is convenient to formulate the deformation in terms of void
ratio (e). Hence,
e = e e + e c
The elastic change of void ratio is formulated as:
e e =

e c =

(2)

C
ln 10


p


with =

Cc Cs
C

(3)

where is a particular reference time. In Section 2.5


it will be shown that can mostly be taken equal to
one day. C is the well-known secondary compression
index that is also referred to as the creep index and Cc
is the well-known compression index.
An important soil deformation characteristic, as
observed for states of normal consolidation, concerns
the normal consolidation line in Figure 2. On this line
we have the preconsolidation stress p , which increases
during creep according to the differential equation

1D CONSTITUTIVE MODEL

p
ln 10
e c
=
p
Cc Cs

Basic equations

(4a)

for a constant temperature. The influence of temperature on p will be considered in Section 2.7. The
integrated form of Eq. [4a] is

There are two components of strain that need to be


modelled. First of them is the more or less elastic deformation, as directly observed in an unloading path or
along a recompression branch. The other component
of strain is irreversible and time dependent. Volumetric

p = po exp

58

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Cs 
ln 10 

where  is the effective stress and Cs the swelling


index, which is sometimes called the unloadingreloading index and denoted as Cur .
The second deformation type is creep that is modelled by the power law

The constitutive description presented in this Section


relates to the one-dimensional version proposed by
Stolle et al. (1997) and Vermeer et al. (1998). As it
is tradition in soil mechanics, compression is taken
positive. A dot over a symbol implies differentiation
with respect to time, and the superscripts e and c refer
to the elastic and creep components, respectively.

2.1

(1)

ln 10 ec
, ec = ec eco
Cc Cs

(4b)

where po is the initial preconsolidation stress for


ec = eco . For numerical simulations of deformation, one
does not only need values for the material constants
Cc , Cs , C and the reference time , but also the initial
values of effective stress  and the state parameter p .
Hence po is an important input parameter, whereas
eco is not directly needed. Indeed, during computations
one may evaluate ec without explicitly knowing eco .
The creep Eq. [3] is rather similar to the well-known
creep law = ( 0 ) as introduced by Norton
(1929) for metals. Instead of Nortons threshold stress
0 the preconsolidation pressure p is used. In contrast
to Nortons law p is not a threshold stress, i.e. creep is
assumed to take place also in overconsolidated states.
To illustrate the tremendous effect of the overconsolidation ratio on the creep rate, let us consider a typical clay with Cc = 0.15, Cs = 0.015 and C = 0.005,
giving for the creep exponent in Eq. [3] the typical
value of = 27. The creep law [3] now gives
e c = e cnc

for OCR = 1

e c e cnc 103

for OCR = 1.3

e c e cnc 106

for OCR = 1.67

Figure 3. Standard oedometer test with stepwise loading.

Hence the creep rate is almost negligible for


OCR > 1.3. On the other hand the rate of creep is
notable for more or less normally consolidated clays.

2.2

Logarithmic creep for  = constant

The creep law [3] holds for general states of stress and
strain, as both the effective stress  and the preconsolidation stress p may vary as a function of time. In fact,
the latter increases monotonically with creep deformation and for a better understanding of the model it
is convenient to consider the creep law with p being
eliminated. To this end, one has to insert the evolution
Eq.[4b] for p into the creep law [3] to find:
C
e =
ln 10
c


po

ec eco
exp
C/ ln 10

Figure 4. Evolution of void ratio with time for test of


Figure 3. Time is reset to zero for every load step.

where t = 0 for e = eo and


(5)

The effective stress  may be either larger or smaller


than po and it does not need to be constant. In the
simplest case of creep at constant effective stress the
creep rate reduces monotonically due to the decreasing
void ratio in the exponential term.
For the special case of a constant effective stress, the
differential creep law [5] can be integrated analytically
to obtain


t
ec = ec eco = C log 1 +

po

= OCR o

(6b)

A logarithmic creep law was first proposed by Buisman (1936), but the above form with was first
introduced by Garlanger (1972). The reference time
depends completely on the initial state of overconsolidation. Consider for instance a standard oedometer
test in which the load is daily increased, as illustrated
Figure 3 and Figure 4. Depending on the permeability
of the sample, the end of consolidation may be reached
in one or more hours after loading, but for the remaining part of the day the sample will creep at a constant
effective stress. The logarithmic Eq. [5] is fully valid

(6a)

59

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

throughout this creep period with t = 0 at the end of


(primary) consolidation. In oedometer testing time is
mostly reset to zero at the beginning of consolidation
rather than at the end, and therefore, the curves shown
in Figure 4 do not fully reflect Eq. [6a].
According to the classification of creep models by
Liingard et al. (2004) Eq. [6a] belongs to the family of
empirical relations, and he would classify the present
model as a constant C model. However, it is emphasized that the reference time varies with OCR, as
shown in Eq. [6b], being not discussed by Liingard et
al. As a result the slope of the final part of e/logt curves
varies with OCR in the overconsolidated range.
2.3

2000
1D creep model

time resistance rs

1600

0
0

Consider an overconsolidated soil sample being stepwise recompressed. During recompression the sample
is in a state of overconsolidation with OCR > 1. In
this case equation [3] predicts a very low creep rate
and consequently there is very little change of OCR.
This is also reflected by the logarithmic law [6a], as it
yields
C
dec
=
dt
ln 10

1
+ t

1.5

2.5

a relatively low reference time , as is discussed in


Section 2.6. Since the soil data were not available
to the Authors, typical soil data have been used for
this fitting: 0.0055 and 20 for C/(1 + eo)/ln10 and ,
respectively.
2.4 Normally consolidated states (t >> )
In standard oedometer tests, samples are recompressed
until the normal consolidation line is reached. Then the
load is increased beyond the NC-line and the sample
is left to consolidate and creep back to the NC-line, as
indicated in Figure 3.
As oedometer samples are relatively thin, consolidation is generally fast and most of the deformation
occurs at a constant effective stress. During such a
creep period, the overconsolidation ratio increases
from the low initial value of OCRo < 1 at the end
of consolidation up to OCR = 1. In a standard 24hour incremental test the load is daily doubled so that
OCRo0.5. In such a situation Eq. [6b] indicates that
is extremely small and and the testing is done on a
time scale with t >> . In this case Eq. [8] reduces to

(8)

It is only for t >> that this rate reduces to the constant value of C, but this is not relevant for the overconsolidated range.
Janbu (1969) introduced the so-called time resistance number rs and Eqs. [6b] and [8] can be used to
derive that

de
C for t >>
dlog t

(10)

Therefore, ec decreases linearly with logt and with


slope C, so that the creep index can directly be measured from load steps in the normally consolidated
range.

(9)

This equation was used to fit measurements on rs


by Claesson (2006). A very good fit is obtained for
/t = 0.1 as can be observed from Figure 5. This
ratio of 0.1 would seem to be realistic because Claessons definition of the preconsolidation stress implies

2.5 On the reference time


Up to now it has been indicated that the reference time
in Eq. [3] is mostly equal to one day, but as yet

60

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 5. Data for Hanhalsclay after Claesson (2006) and


comparison with 1D creep model.

Indeed, for overconsolidated states of stress, the reference time is very large and t is consequently
small with respect to . Hence, on a usual time scale
with t << , as relevant in laboratory testing, overconsolidated soils show a very small nearly constant
creep rate. This behaviour is reflected by the upper
set of curves in Figure 4. In soil mechanics it is often
suggested that even overconsolidated clays show logarithmic creep, but this is only true on a very large time
scale. Indeed, it follows from Eq. [6a] that the slopes
of the curves in Figure 4 satisfy the equation


1 + eo
d ln t

=
ln 10 1 + OCR o
rs
d
C
t

0.5

/po

C 1
for << (7)
ln 10

dec
t
= C
textdlogt
+t

800

400

Overconsolidated states with t <<

1200

we have neither motivated nor derived this particular


value. In this Section it is shown that the reference time
relates to the definition of the NC-surface and that the
usual definition of this surface implies a reference time
of one day. In order to show this, we consider the creep
in a particular load step of a conventional oedometer
test. According to Eqs. [6a] and [4b] we have


t
ec = C log 1 +

(11a)

p
po

(11b)

ec = (Cc Cs) log

respectively. The first expression for ec is the fundamental equation, whereas Eq. [9b] basically defines
the preconsolidation stress as a function of ec . On
eliminating the void ratio, the above two equations
yield
+ t
=

p
po

Figure 6. Comparison between stress-strain curves obtained


in conventional 24 h test and CRS oedometer test (from
Hanzawa 1989).

(12)

Together with Eq. [6b] for it is found that



OCR =

+ t

that resemble the ones of multi-stage loading tests. In


many cases CRS tests are done relatively fast and the
results overshoot the NC-line from a 24-hours test, as
can be seen in Figure 6. However, any CRS test line can
be adopted as NC-line, provided that an appropriate
reference time is assigned to this line, as will be
shown in the following.
Consider a CRS test with a particular constant rate
of void ratio, then it follows from Eq. [1], [2] and [4a]
that

1/
(13)

For normally consolidated states, is very small as


already argued in the previous section. Then Eq. [13]
reduces to the very simple expression
OCR (t/)1/

for t >>

(14)

e = e e + e c =

being first put forward by Mesri & Choi (1985). Hence,


OCR will rapidly increase from its initial small value
of OCRo up to OCR = 1.
Most often the load is increased every 24 hours and
consolidation takes typically one hour. In such a test
the creep time for reaching the normal consolidation
line would be 23 hours or roughly one day. On substituting OCR = 1 and t = 1 day into Equation [14],
one obtains = 1 day. No doubts, oedometer tests may
also be carried out with 12 or 48 hours load steps to
find somewhat shifted NC-lines with = 12 or = 48
hours respectively.
2.6

(15)

It can be shown that  /  = p /p and it follows that


the elastic strain rate is given by Cs /(Cc Cs ) times
the creep rate. This can be used to write
e =

Cc
C
Cc
e c =

Cc Cs
Cc Cs ln 10


p


(16)

For  = p , we are on the NC-line and it follows that


e cnc =

C
Cc

Cc Cs ln 10

(17)

If is assumed to be one day, the CRS test has to be carried out at the appropriate rate according to Eq. [17].
On the other hand, one may also adjust to any possible
CRS test. This is clear when writing Eq. [17] as

Constant rate of strain test

Instead of defining the normal consolidation line of a


particular clay on the basis of a multi-stage loading
test, one may use a constant rate of strain test. Data
by Hanzawa (1989) as shown in Figure 6 demonstrate
that these so-called CRS tests give oedometer curves

61

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Cs 
Cc Cs p

ln 10 
ln 10 p

Cc
C
1

Cc Cs ln 10 e nc

(18)

where T = T To and To a reference temperature. Following the observation by Leroueil it yields


= 0.01 per C. As an alternative to the above equation, one might also use ideas from Moritz (1995) to
obtain
 


T
ln 10 ec
p = po
exp
(21)
To
Cc Cs
where replaces as a temperature parameter. The
influence of temperature on the preconsolidation stress
is thus easily incorporated into the model by using an
extended equation for p .

2.8

Figure 7. Preconsolidation pressure from oedometer tests


at various temperatures (Eriksson 1989).

where C has to be measured in a real creep test with


constant effective stress. On taking the NC-line from a
CRS test, the applied deformation rate is assumed to be
e nc and one may compute the corresponding reference
time form Eq. [18].

2.7 Influence of temperature


Eriksson (1989) was probably the first to conduct
a systematic study on the effects of temperature on
the compressibility of clays. His CRS test results are
shown in Figure 7. With increasing temperature, the
soil becomes more compressible in the overconsolidated range and the preconsolidation stress decreases.
This is of great importance to practical applications of
creep models, as laboratory tests are usually performed
at a temperature close to 20 C, whereas in situ temperatures tend to be around 10 C. It can be derived from
the data in Figure 7 that the preconsolidation stress
of this particular clay drops from about 60 kPa down
to about 50 kPa when temperature raises from 10 C
to 20 C.
Leroueil (2006) reviewed data from eight different
sources and concluded that the change of the preconsolidation stress is essentially the same for all the clays
considered, being almost 1% per C between 5 and
35 C. This observation can directly be used to assess
the temperature parameter in the proposed equation

p = p

ln 10 c
e + T
Cc Cs

From void ratio to large strains

For large changes of void ratio, as resulting from


oedometer tests on peat and very soft natural clays,
e-log plots seldomly result in straight compression
curves, as assumed in previous sections of this paper.
Instead one tends to find slightly concave curves as
for instance shown in Figure 6. The concave form is
logic as there is a theoretical lower boundary of e = 0
to the void ratio, being asymptotically approached in
high-pressure oedometer tests. For this reason, several
authors, e.g. Butterfield (1979) and Den Haan (1994),
have advocated the use of bilogarithmic plots and they
define the NC-line by the equation
ln

1+e

= ln 
1 + eo
o

which implies Cc = (1 + e) ln 10 . Considering


as a true material constant, Cc is found to increase
with e, as observed in large strain oedometer tests. For
small strains, however, we have e eo and Cc reduces
to a fixed material constant. In the following will
be used rather than Cc .
The use of Eq. [22] complies to the concept of logarithmic strain as often used for large-strain problems in
mechanics. Within this concept the volumetric strain
is defined as
vol ln

V
V
= ln (1 +
)
Vo
Vo

(19)

or in integrated form
vol ln (1+

V
V
)
Vo
Vo

for

V << Vo(24)

(20)
which is the usual definition of infinitesimal strain.

62

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(23)

where V is the volume of the material element considered and compressive strains are taken positive. Within
the range of small strains, V/Vo and Eq. [23] can be
linearised giving


ln 10 ec
p = po expT exp
Cc Cs

(22)

On substituting V = (1 + e) Vs in Eq. [23], where


Vs is the volume of the solid phase, and on assuming
this phase to be incompressible, one obtains together
with Eq. [22]
vol ln

1+e

= ln 
1 + eo
o

(25)

FROM MCC TO ISOTROPIC CREEP MODEL

On extending the 1-D model to general states of stress


and strain, the well-known stress invariants p and q for
mean and deviatoric stress are adopted. The summation convention is used throughout the paper unless
differently stated. Hence p = ii /3 and

q = 3/2 sij sij ,

sij = ij p ij

Figure 8. Ellipses of Modified Cam Clay (MCC).

(26)

The ellipses of Modified Cam Clay are taken as contours of volumetric creep rate in p-q plane. Hence the
same volumetric creep rate applies to all stress states
which lie on a particular ellipse. The ellipse which
intersects with the p-axis in pp is referred to as the
normal consolidation surface (NCS), as indicated in
Figure 8.
Just like the oedometric preconsolidation stress p ,
the isotropic one pp must be updated continually during
the analysis according to the evolution of the volumetric creep strain. The evolution of the preconsolidation
pressure is governed by temperature variations as well,
but for the sake of simplicity, the isothermal case will
be considered.

Figure 9. Overconsolidated and underconsolidated state.

where and are a modified compression index


and a modified swelling index respectively. It yields
for small strain
=

3.1 Volumetric creep in 3-D

and

Considering Modified Cam Clay ellipses as creep


potentials, one needs a suitable measure for these
ellipses. Stress invariants p and q are used to define
the scalar quantity
peq = p +

(27)

where peq is an equivalent stress defining a unique


Modified Cam Clay ellipse in p-q plane. A soil element
is overconsolidated for peq < pp and underconsolidated for peq > pp , as indicated in Figure 9. The
constant M represents the slope of the critical state
line.
The preconsolidation pressure changes during creep
according to the law
pp = ppo exp

cvol

eij = Cijkl kl

3.2 Plastic potential and flow rule


With the definition [27] in mind, Eq. [3] is modified to
become:


1
peq
C

, =
(29)
cvol = sign(d)

pp
ln 10 1 + eo

(28)

63

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1
1
3 (1 ) Cs
2 Cs

1+
ln 10 1 + eo
ln 10 1 + eo

For a derivation of the approximate relation between


and Cs , the reader is referred to Vermeer and Neher
(1999). For soft soils the effective Poissons ratio has
typically a value of 0.2. This Poissons ratio is used
in the elastic compliance fourth-order tensor Cijkl in

q
M 2 p

1
Cc

ln 10 1 + eo

The variable d is introduced in the following. According to Eq. [29] the volumetric creep rate is driven by
peq /pp which is the inverse of the overconsolidation
ratio. This ratio can be considered as a measure of the
distance from the actual state of stress to the NCS.
As in classical elastoplasticity, the 3D creep model
has a flow rule giving the directionof the creep strain
rate. Similarly to the MCC model associated plasticity is assumed and ellipses are thus taken as plastic
potential surfaces. The rate of creep strain can hence
be written as
cij = 

peq
ij

(30)
Figure 10. NC-ellipses, Mohr-Coulomb failure line and
tension cut-off of IC model.

where  is a plastic multiplier. It follows that


=

cvol
peq
with d =
=1
d
p

q/p
M

2
(31)

The sign of the state variable d depends on the stress


ratio q/p . As long as this ratio is smaller than M, d
is positive and Eq. [29] predicts contractive creep. On
the other hand, stress paths above the critical state line
yield negative d-values and dilation. Similarly to the
MCC-model, soil contraction implies an expansion of
the NC surface and dilation causes shrinkage of the
NC-ellipse.
It now follows form Eqs. [29] and [30] that
cij =

|d|

peq
pp

peq
ij

(32)

The model above obviously deviates from the MCC


model in the sense that there is no truly elastic domain.
Well below the NC-surface creep rates are extremely
small, but just below this surface the creep rate is
significant. Moreover, stresses may exceed the NCsurface, so that it is not a yield locus in the sense of
plasticity. On the other hand, strain rates for stress
points around the NC-surface are so high that this
surface creates the effect of a yield surface.
4

Figure 11. Mohr-Coulomb yield surface and normal consolidation cap.

In order to remain within the framework of a classical continuum and to avoid numerical difficulties, the
dry side of critical state is modelled by a fixed Hvorslev
type failure surface as indicated in Figure 10. In this
way one obviously introduces two extra model constants, i.e. the cohesion c and the friction angle  .
It would be most realistic to make c density dependent, but for the sake of convenience the cohesion is
assumed to be constant. In principal stress state the
failure surface is of the Mohr-Coulomb type, as shown
in Figure 11. Because of the failure surface, the total
number of model constants now increases from five up
to eight, as listed in Table 1.
Rough estimates of , , and are also indicated inTable 1, to give an impression of the magnitude
of these constants. An important feature of the ICmodel is that relative steep NC-surfaces can be used
by adopting relatively large values for MNCS . On doing

ISOTROPIC CREEP MODEL (IC MODEL)

Just like the Modified Cam Clay model, the creep


model involves dilation and associated softening for
stress states on the dry side (left of the intercept of
the CSL). In numerical analyses softening cannot easily be simulated as it leads to mesh-dependency and
possible numerical instabilities. For a proper analysis
of softening problems, without such difficulties, one
would need to formulate the model in the framework
of a non-local or micropolar continuum theory.

64

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

Material parameters for isotropic creep model.

/5
/30
MNCS <=> Konc
0.2

a modified compression index


a modified swelling index
a modified creep index
height of the normal consolidation
surface
elastic Poissons ratio

c

0

effective Hvorslev cohesion


effective Hvorslev friction angle
Hvorslev angle of dilation

12721278. The height of the tower at that time was


51 m. The construction was finished between 1360 and
1370 with the bell chamber.
In 1838/1839 a circular ditch, the so-called Catino,
was dug around the tower to expose the column plinths
and foundation steps which had settled below the
ground surface level. From 1933 to 1935 the Catino
wall and the foundation were injected with cement
grout to stop water inflow into the Catino. In the 1990s
the northern side of the foundation ring was ballasted
with lead ingots, as a temporary stabilization measure.
In the years 1999-2001 soil was extracted from under
the same side using inclined drill holes, and the lead
ingots were removed.
The first known exact inclination measurements
were made in 1817. Since 1911 the inclination has
been measured regularly by different methods, while
the measurements of settlements started in 1965.

so, MNCS may well exceed the critical state ratio M. No


doubt, MNCS may be equal to M, but the model gives
the possibility to use MNCS values well beyond M.
On doing so we deviate from the Modified Cam
Clay model, as this model tends to give too large horizontal stresses in oedometric loading. In order to make
sure that the model predicts realistic Knc
o -values quite
large MNCS -values need to be used, and consequently,
relatively steep normal consolidation ellipses in p-q
plane.
5

5.2 Geological and geotechnical properties


The layers underneath the tower foundation (Figure 12)
are holocene sediments of the quaternary period. The
tower is founded on top of a 5.4 m thick layer of sandy
to clayey silt, which is covered by a 3 m thick fill layer.
The approximately 30 m thick formation B basically
contains clay layers and includes a sand layer. Formation C starts at a depth of 37 m below sea level
and consists of sand with a thickness of 2025 m.
The formations B and C are of marine origin. The
consistency range of the clays is between soft and
medium, hence showing a high compressibility. Soil
parameters were estimated upon several broad soil
investigations between 1907 to 1992. The sampling
quality was improved with time: the so-called Laval
block sampler has been used for the latest samples,
thus giving samples with a very low disturbance.

CASE STUDY: PISA TOWER STABILITY

In 2001The International Committee for the Safeguard


of the Leaning Tower of Pisa requested the Institute of
Geotechnical Engineering at Stuttgart University to
analyse the long-term behaviour of the tower after the
recent restauration measures. The numerical analyses
thereby performed were an important benchmark for
assessing the effectiveness of the proposed 3D creep
model in capturing the time-dependent behaviour of
soft soils.
The boundary value problem has been solved
via finite element analysis using PLAXIS code
(Brinkgreve and Vermeer 2001). The numerical algorithm and the implementation of the isotropic creep
model has been described in Stolle et al. (1997), and
this Section focuses on the description of the geometry
of the problem. For a more exhaustive description of
the FE analyses, refer to Neher et al. (2003)
5.1

5.3 Soil parameters and finite element model


The finite element analyses are performed with an
enhanced version of the Plaxis 3D Tunnel code allowing for consolidation analysis and large deformations
with updating of the mesh. The layering of the finite
element model and the soil parameter set are based
on Calabresi et al. (1996). In Table 2 and Table 3 the
parameter set of the soil layers are given. The Pre Overburden Pressure (POP), as referred to in Table 2, is
defined as p o . It is an input parameter for specifying the vertical preconsolidation stress (Brinkgreve
and Vermeer 2001).
The finite element model is calibrated on the basis
of the history of construction In the first construction
phase from 1173 to 1178 the tower is simulated up
to a height of 29 m. In the second stage of construction from 1272 to 1278 a height of 51 m was reached,

History and geometry of the Tower

The construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa started


in 1173 and ended in 1370. The foundation of the
tower is a circular ring consisting of stones and mortar
with an outer diameter of 19.6 m and an inner diameter of 4.5 m. The height of the tower is 58 m, with
an estimated total weight of 140 MN. During the first
construction phase from 1173 to 1178 the foundation
and the first three and half storeys were built up to a
height of 29 m. After a break of nearly 100 years the
tower was erected up to the seventh storey in the years

65

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 2.

Soil parameters for fine-grained layers.

layer

[kN/m3 ]

[]

[]

[]

[ ]

c
[kN/m2 ]

k
[1010 m/s]

POP
[kN/m2 ]

A1N
A1S
B1
B2
B3
B4/B5
B7a
B7b
B8/B9/B10

19.1
19.1
17.3
17.8
16.7
20.0
19.6
17.8
19.0

0.045
0.065
0.15
0.12
0.15
0.07
0.1
0.12
0.1

0.0045
0.0065
0.015
0.012
0.015
0.007
0.01
0.012
0.01

0.0015
0.00217
0.005
0.004
0.005
0.0023
0.0033
0.004
0.0033

34.0
34.0
26.0
26.0
26.0
28.0
27.0
27.0
25.0

1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0

104
10
5
5
5
2
5
5
3

140
140
70
50
50
130/200
70
70
70

Table 3.

Soil parameters for coarse-grained layers.

Jamiolkowski (1999)
5

MG
A2
B6

18.0
18.2
19.1

8700
13700
11600

c
[]

k
[1010 m/s]

4
Settlement [m]


[ ]

layer [kN/m3 ] [kN/m2 ] []

st

0.33 34.0 20.0 104


0.33 34.0 0.0 104
0.33 34.0 0.0 104

AGI (1991)
nd

2 calibration analysis

calibration analysis

a)

3
2
1

height 1370

0
1000

height 1278

1500

2000

2500

Time [year]

5.5

Figure 13a. Settlement of the Tower over the centuries


(Neher et al. 2003).

58 m

height 1178
center of gravity

Jamiolkowski (1999)
8

st

1 calibration analysis

AGI (1991)
nd

calibration analysis

22.5 m

fill (MG)
sandy and clayey silt(A1)
wP=22%; wL=38%; IC=0.63
upper sand (A2)

3.0 m
-5.4 m
-7.4 m
19.6 m

Inclination []

+3.0 m
0.0 m

horizon A

upper clay (B1-B3)


wP=30%; wL=70%; IC=0.45

-17.8 m
-22.0 m
-24.4 m

middle clay (B4/B5)


wP=13%; wL=43%; IC=0.63
middle sand(B6)

b)

horizon B

horizon C

0
1000

lower clay (B7-B10)


wP=25%; wL=51%; IC=0.5
-37.0 m
lower sand (C1)

1500

2000

2500

Time [year]

Figure 12. Section of the Tower and soil profile.

Figure 13b. Inclination of the Tower over the centuries


(Neher et al. 2003).

then a second construction break of about 80 years follows. The subsequent construction of the bell chamber
is simulated by adding volume elements to the tower.
During the following consolidation and creep period
of overall 500 years, consolidation was the major process occurring in the first decade. Creep settlement
observed after such period increased moderately while
inclination almost doubled since the last loading step
(see Figure 13a,b). The simulation of the excavation

of the Catino performed by removing the elements


around the foundation within a circular crown 2.2 m
wide, has a substantial influence on the inclination
of the Tower. The application of counterweights on
the North side of the tower has been simulated, thus
showing a backward rotation of 0.07 whereas 0.02
were measured.

66

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 13 shows how the numerical soil is softer


than the real one, as small strain stiffness is not modelled. This result is confirmed by the further step of soil
extraction, simulated by volume reduction of some of
the elements below the northern side in order to simulate the extraction of 25 m3 of soil, necessary to reach
the backward rotation of 0.05 . The amount of soil
actually extracted was considerably higher, thus showing again a softer soil behaviour due to neglecting the
small strain stiffness.
A second set of analyses were performed considering an increased stiffness for the soil, giving a
more realistic simulation of the settlement and of the
inclination. In the light of such reasonable results, a
settlement/inclination prediction has been carried out
thus allowing to estimate in 500 years the time necessary to reach the same settlement and inclination
measured before the intervention (Figure 13a,b).
5.4

Conclusions and further refinements


Figure 14. Contours of volumetric creep strain rate for a
natural soil (after Boudali 1995).

Even though the described analsyes are likely to give


realistic predictions for settlement and the evolution of
the inclination of the tower in the forthcoming years,
there are several aspects to be refined both in the
geometry of the mesh and in the constitutive modelling. First, the Catino has a width of only 2.2 m,
whilst around 3.5 m is the real width. Secondly, the
excavation of the Catino involved larger depths than
those considered within the first analysis. In the light
of those considerations and of the enhanced computational power of modern CPUs, a new set of FE analyses
will be performed, first with an improved mesh and
then with a further development of the creep model,
which is described in the next Section.

model by Wheeler et al. (2003) is adopted as normal


consolidation surface for the AC-model. On developing an anisotropic model, the use of classical stress
invariants for defining this surface is no more possible. However, as long as triaxial states of stress without
principal stress rotation and 2 = 3 are referred to
and the soil is assumed to be initially (and stay) crossanisotropic, it is still possible to make use of q and p
as defined in Section 3.
In this particular case, only a scalar quantity
(describing the inclination of the normal consolidation surface) is necessary to describe the orientation
of the surface and the equivalent mean stress peq is
defined as

2
q p

(33)
peq = p +  2
M 2 p

6 ANISOTROPIC CREEP MODEL (AC MODEL)


The isotropic creep model as considered so far is
based on MCC ellipses, which are symmetric with
respect to the p axis. This assumption was made for the
sake of simplicity, but it does not match experimental
evidences for natural soils, as shown in Figure 14.
Rotated yield surfaces have been observed for a
wide range of soft soils, and it is clear that it originates
from the mechanism of formation of natural soils and
the subsequent ageing. The natural anisotropy is erased
if the material is loaded isotropically or remoulded.
An advanced constitutive model must take the initial
anisotropy of the natural soil into account as it is possible by using a rotated ellipse. Both expansion and
rotation of the normal consolidation surface should be
related to the creep strain and the stress path.
6.1

Figure 15 illustrates the geometrical meaning of the


equivalent mean stress peq and scalar . It can easily be seen that this equation degenerates to Eq. [27]
for = 0. Hence, the anisotropic normal consolidation
surface incorporates the isotropic one of Figure 10 as
a special case. For NC-soils, the initial value for nc is
typically in the range between 0.5 and 0.6.
The scalar quantity acts like a hardening parameter. Its evolution is governed by creep strains according
to the equation
 


 
3q
q
=
cvol +

c
(34)
4p
3p

Extension to account for anisotropy

where c is the deviatoric creep strain rate and


and are soil constants that control the rate of

In order to match creep rate contours shown in Figure 14, the yield surface of the so-called S-CLAY1

67

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 16. IC model with Knc


o dependence on MNCS .

Figure 15. Anisotropic ellipse for S-CLAY1 model (after


Wheeler et al. 2003).

rotation. For triaxial states of stress it is defined as


c = 2/3|c1 c2 |. The constant is typically close to
unity and is mostly around 20.
6.2

Konc for evaluation of

As for the isotropic model, the function for peq is also


used as a plastic potential function, so that the AC
model is an associated visco-plastic model. For practical applications of this model, it should be made sure
that the model yields realistic horizontal stresses in
oedometer loading, including constant rate of strain
oedometer tests. In such tests on NC-soils, it yields
= nc and = 0.
It can be demonstrated that Knc
o is a function of M,
, , and the parameter as used in Eq. [34]. The
AC model offers the possibility to choose the value
such that the Knc
o -value matches the Jaky correlation
Ko 1
nc


sin cv

Figure 17. AC model with Knc


o dependence on .
Table 4.

nc

0.204

0.013

0.0017

0.3

1.6

20.0

1.02

0.533

All simulations are carried out starting from normally


consolidated state with Knc
o , and considering a strain
rate of 0.01/day. In Figure 18 two sets of simulations
are shown. The first set (solid line) shows a compression and an extension test using the AC model. For an
initial vertical stress of 50 kPa. The second set (broken
line) shows results for a compression and an extension
test using the IC model for an initial vertical stress of
70 kPa. The different initial stresses were chosen only
for the sake of clarity in visualising the stress paths.
It can easily be observed that the behaviour in compression is virtually the same for both models. This
is due to the small rotation of the NC-surface during
the simulation; from the initial value of nc = 0.533
to the final one of 0.537. On the other hand, in triaxial
extension major differences occur. In both simulations
the critical state line is reached, but along qualitatively
different paths. In the AC model case the rotation of
the NC-surface is evident since varies from the initial value of 0.533 to the final value of 0.44 at the end

Undrained shear strength

For further comparison between the IC model and the


AC model, undrained triaxial test simulations are considered. The material chosen for the simulations is
Murro clay with soil parameters as indicated in Table 4.

68

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(35)

In the current preliminary implementation of the AC


model a Drucker-Prager type generalization has been
used, thus giving the same shear strength both in compression and in extension. This assumption must be
regarded as a simplification. For the future it is planned
to use a Matsuoka-Nakai type model (Matsuoka and
Nakai 1982).
Figure 16 and Figure 17 illustrate the difference
between IC model and AC model. In the former the
MNCS -line is not necessarily the critical state line. In
AC model, no distinction is made between the MNCS line and the CSL, and Knc
o value can be adjusted by the
parameter .
6.3

Soil parameters for Murro clay.

CSL

ACM
SCLAY-1
SSC
MCC

Konc

60

60

CSL

40
MNCS> M

40

20

0
02

20
40
AC model

60

20

MNCS= M
IC model
0
0

20

40

60

AC model
CSL
IC model

Figure 18. Undrained simulations for soil parameters of


Table 4 and MNCS = 2.1.

of the simulation. No doubt the AC model gives much


more realistic undrained shear strength values than the
IC model, at least in extension.
It should be emphasized that the same Knc
o -values
were used for all simulations. To this end the IC model
simulation was performed with MNCS = 2.1, rather
than MNCS = M. In this case the AC model and the
IC model have the same Knc
o line.
Another set of undrained simulations has been performed with MNCS = M, such that the models have
different Knc
o lines but the same critical state line. This
has the advantage that results can be compared to corresponding time-independent models. Results of the
IC model can be compared to the elastoplastic Modified Cam Clay model (MCC) and results from AC
model can be compared to the elastoplastic S-CLAY1
model (Wheeler et al. 2003). It appears from Figure 19
that the elastoplastic models behave very similar to
the creep models, at least when simulating undrained
tests with a strain rate of 0.01/day. No doubt, the creep
models yield steeper stress paths for faster loading and
flatter paths for slower tests (Vermeer and Neher 1999).
However, the present simulations are not meant to
show this effect. Instead, they are meant to demonstrate
that the IC model is an extension of MCC to include
creep and AC model is an extension of S-CLAY1 to
include creep.
Figure 18 and Figure 19 show significant differences between triaxial compression and triaxial extension. For undrained triaxial compression anisotropy
is not very important, but it is for extension paths.

CSL
Figure 19. Undrained simulations for soil parameters of
Table 4 and MNCS = M.

Both Figure 18 and Figure 19 demonstrate that extension needs to be modelled anisotropically, otherwise
the undrained shear strength is considerably overestimated.

In this paper a new anisotropic model for creep is proposed. The model is a straightforward extension of
the isotropic creep (IC) model, formulated at Stuttgart
University. First, a complete description of the framework is given, starting from the formulation of the 1D
model to extend then the analysis to the 3D model,
based upon a modified version of MCC to model time
dependent behaviour. A detailled explanation of the
meaning of the parameters involved is given, with particular reference to the time parameter . After a brief
description of the IC model, the analysis of the stability of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is presented as
an example of a 3D boundary value problem solved
through finite element method using the IC model.

69

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSIONS

supported the European Community through the program Human Resources and Mobility.

The last part concentrates on the description of the


new anisotropic model which is under development at
Stuttgart University.
Some important conclusions can be already drawn:
as for the IC model, its capability to capture many
aspects of the time-dependent behaviour of soft soils,
such as the variation of C with OCR is demonstrated.
Moreover, it is worth stressing the possibility to define
the normal consolidation line even for a CRS oedometer test, setting the ratio t/ to a suitable value. The
model, in its most general formulation, is also capable to take into account temperature variations, which
have been proven to play a significant role in the
time-dependent behaviour.
The clear advantage of the IC model, built directly
on the structure of the 1D model, is the possibility to
analyse every kind of stress path, not just limited to 1D
compression. It has been shown that the Ko predicted
when simulating standard oedometer tests matches the
Jakys formula only if a suitable value is chosen for M ,
which has no link to the critical state stress ratio.
An anisotropic generalization of the model is then
proposed: the motivation for this work comes from
several experimental observations on natural soils
which show the effects of initial and strain induced
anisotropy. Besides, AC model overcomes the problem of Knc
o prediction restoring the physical meaning
of M value thanks to the formulation of the rotational
hardening law, as shown in Section 6.
As a first benchmark for the new model, four
sets of undrained tests have been simulated with the
anisotropic and the isotropic model. These are in good
agreement with the predictions by their corresponding
elastoplastic counterparts S-CLAY1 and MCC. This
fundamental result shows that both the creep models
give predictions which are consistent with those one
can get by using classical elastoplastic models, thus
confirming to some extent their reliability.
Nevertheless, the new anisotropic model needs
further development: in the current version a DruckerPrager failure criterium has been implemented, while
it is well-known how a different formulation, such as
the one proposed by Matsuoka-Nakai, is more suitable
for the modelling of soil behaviour.
In addition, the simple one-integration point routine used for this work must be enhanced to a full
implementation into a FE code in order to be able to
use the model to solve boundary value problems of
engineering interest.

REFERENCES
A.G.I. 1991. 10th ECSMFE The contribution of geotechnical
engineering to the preservation of Italian historic sites,
Florence, pp. 105108.
Adachi, T., and Okano, M. 1974. A constitutive equation for
normally consolidated clay. Soils and Foundations, 14(4):
5573.
Bjerrum, L. 1967. Engineering geology of norwegian
normally-consolidated marine clays as related to settlements of buildings. Gotechnique, 17: 81118.
Boudali, M. 1995. Comportement tridimensionnel et
visqueux des argiles naturelles. PhD Thesis, Universit
Laval, Qubec.
Brinkgreve, R.B.J., and Vermeer, P.A. 2001. PLAXIS Finite
Element Code for Soils and Rock Analyses, 3D Tunnel
Version 1. Balkema.
Buisman, A.S. 1936. Results of long duration settlement
tests. In 1st International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. Cambridge, Vol.1,
pp. 103107.
Butterfield, R. 1979. A natural compression law for soils (an
advance on e-log p). Gotechnique, 22: 7178.
Calabresi, G., Rampello, S., Callisto, L., and Viggiani,
G.M.B. 1996. The Leaning Tower of Pisa - Soil parameters for the numerical modelling of the tower resulting
from the most recent investigations, Laboratorio Geotecnico Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica,
Universit di Roma La Sapienza.
Claesson, P. 2006. Creep around the preconsolidation pressure a laboratory and field study. In CREBS Workshop.
Edited by N.G.I. Oslo.
Den Haan, E.J. 1994. Vertical compression of Soils, Delft
University.
Eriksson, L.G. 1989. Temperature effects on consolidation
properties of sulphide clays. In 12th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering. Rio
de Janeiro, Vol.3, pp. 20872090.
Garlanger, J.E. 1972. The consolidation of soils exhibiting
creep under constant effective stress. Gotechnique, 22:
7178.
Gens, A., and Nova, R. 1993. Conceptual bases for a constitutive model for bonded soils and weak rocks. In
Geomechanical engineering of hard soils and soft rocks.
Edited by A. Anagnostopoulos, F. Schlosser, N. Kaltesiotis, and R. Frank. Balkema, Rotterdam, Vol.1, pp.
485494.
Hanzawa, H. 1989. Evaluation of design parameters for soft
clays as related to geological stress history. Soils and
Foundations, 29(2): 99111.
Jamiolkowski, M. 1999. Workshop on the Pisa Tower The
Restoration of the Leaning Tower: Present Situation and
Perspectives.
Janbu, N. 1969. The resistance concept applied to deformations of soils. In 7th ICSMFE. Mexico City, Vol.1.
Leroueil, S. 1987. Tenth Canadian Geotechnical Colloquium:
Revent developments in consolidation of natural clays.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 25: 85107.
Leroueil, S. 2006. The isotache approach. Where are we 50
years after its development by Professor Sukljie?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The work presented was carried out as part of a
Marie Curie Research Training Network Advanced
Modelling of Ground Improvement on Soft Soils
(AMGISS) (Contract No MRTN-CT-2004-512120)

70

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Leroueil, S., Kabbaj, M., Tavenas, F., and Bouchard, R. 1985.


Stress-strain-strain rate relation for the compressibility of
sensitive natural clays. Gotechnique, 35: 159180.
Liingaard, M., Augustesen, A., and Lade, P.V. 2004. Characterization of Models for Time-Dependent Behavior of
Soils. International Journal of Geomechanics: 157177.
Matsuoka, H., and Nakai, T. 1982. A new failure criterion for
soils in three-dimensional stresses. In IUTAM Conference
on deformation and failure of granular materials. Delft,
pp. 253263.
Mesri, G., and Choi, Y.K. 1985. Settlement analysis of
embankments on soft clays. ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 111(4): 441464.
Moritz, L. 1995. Geotechnical properties of clay at elevated
temperatures. In International Symposium on Compression and Consolidation of Clayey soils IS Hiroshimas
95. Hiroshima, Vol.1, pp. 267272.
Neher, H.P., Vogler, U., Vermeer, P.A., and Viggiani, C.
2003. 3D creep analysis of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
In Geotechnics of soft soils, theory and praxis. Edited by
Vermeer, Schweiger, Karstunen, and Cudny. Noordwijkerhout (NL), pp. 607612.
Norton, F.H. 1929. Creep of steel at high temperatures. Mc
Graw-Hill, New York.
Nova, R. 1982.A viscoplastic constitutive model for normally
consolidated clays. In IUTAM Conference on Deformation and Failure of Granular Materials. Delft, pp.
287295.

Sllfors, G. 1975. Preconsolidation pressure on soft high plastic clays. PhD thesis, Chalmers University of Technology,
Gteborg.
Sekiguchi, H., and Ohta, H. 1977. Induced anisotropy and
time dependency in clays. In 9th ICSMFE. Tokyo, pp.
229238.
Stolle, D.F.E., Bonnier, P.G., and Vermeer, P.A. 1997. A soft
soil model and experiences with two integration schemes.
In NUMOG VI. Edited by Pietruszczak S. and Pande G.N.
Montreal. 24 July 1997. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Vermeer, P.A., and Neher, H.P. 1999. A soft soil model that
accounts for creep. In Int.Symp. Beyond 2000 in Computational Geotechnics. Edited by R.B.J. Brinkgreve.
Amsterdam. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 249261.
Vermeer, P.A., Stolle, D.F.E., and Bonnier, P.G. 1998. From
the classical theory of secondary compression to modern
creep analysis. In Computer Methods and Advances in
Geomechanics. Edited by Yuan. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Wheeler, S.J., Ntnen, A., Karstunen, M., and Lojander, M.
2003. An anisotropic elastoplastic model for soft clays.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 40: 403418.
Yin, J.-H., and Graham, J. 1999. Elastic viscoplastic modelling of the time dependent stress-strain behaviour of
soils. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 36: 736745.

71

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Experimental study on shear behavior and an improved constitutive


model of saturated sand under complex stress condition
Maotian Luan1,2 , Chengshun Xu1,2 , Yang He1,2 , Ying Guo1,2 , Zhendong Zhang1,2 ,
Dan Jin1,2 & Qinglai Fan1,2
1 State

Key Laboratory of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Dalian University of Technology,


Dalian, Liaoning Province, P. R. China
2 Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, School of Civil and Hydraulic Engineering,
Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning Province, P. R. China

ABSTRACT: A variety of stress-controlled monotonic and cyclic shear tests on saturated loose sand under
various complex initial consolidation conditions and different variation patterns of shear stress are conducted by
using the soil static and dynamic universal triaxial and torsional shear apparatus. Through these experimental
tests, the followings are achieved: (1) Under the application of monotonic shear loading, orientation of principal
stress obviously influences effective stress path and stress-strain relationship. When the orientation of major
principal stress approaches to the vertical, loose sand displays the features of strain-hardening and shear dilatation.
Along with increase of deviation of orientation of major principal stress from the vertical, loose sand displays
obviously different features such as strain-softening and shear-contraction or others. Compared with the effect
of orientation of principal stress, It seems that the coefficient of intermediate principal stress do not remarkably
affect shear deformation behavior of sand. (2) Under the condition of cyclic loading, the influences of orientation
of principal stress at initial consolidation stage are appreciable. The pre-shearing effect of initial deviatoric stress
on application plane of dynamic stress imposes a considerable effect on cyclic behavior and accumulative mode
of residual deformation. (3) Cyclic shear behavior of sand is interrelated to monotonic shear characteristics.
The strain-hardening or/and softening features in monotonic shear test are closely related to cyclic mobility and
flow-slide deformation in cyclic shear test. And occurrence of cyclic mobility and flow-slide is dependent on
initial texture of sand. (4) In the paper, the steady-state concept of modern soil mechanics and the state-dependent
equation of stress-dilatancy are integrated with the empirical stress-strain relationship obtained from measured
data in tests, a refined elasto-plastic constitutive model is proposed and the related parameters are defined
accordingly. It is shown by experimental verification and numerical simulation or prediction of the model that the
proposed model is capable to well display influence of initial stress and physical states on shear behavior of sand.

INTRODUCTION

stress must be taken into consideration for prediction


of deformation and strength behavior of sands as stated
by Madsen (1978), Ishihara and Towhata, (1983) and
Nakata (1998). For this sake, it is practically significant to carry out studies on deformation and strength
properties and on constitutive model of marine and
ocean soils under loading conditions as induced in
seabed and foundations. However, the conventional
triaxial shear and torsional shear tests are incapable to
reproduce the above-mentioned complex initial stress
condition and cyclic loading pattern. An intensive and
systematic experimental study for such a special issue
had hardly been made due to lack of modern soil testing
technology in reality.
Undrained triaxial compression tests and triaxial
extension tests conducted in the field have shown

Liquefaction and shear failure are two main types of


loss of stability of sandy seabed under wave loading, and are closely related to the process of build-up,
development, diffusion and dissipation of excess pore
water pressure generated during cyclic loading. Practically the initial stress state in seabed usually is of
anisotropy. Moreover, the initial stress states of soil
elements located at different parts in structural foundations are all different. The orientation of initial
stresses of any point on a potential slip surface strongly
depends on the location of the point. Therefore, as an
essential issue in evaluation the stability of seabed and
structural foundations, the complex anisotropic initial
stress state and the complex variation pattern of cyclic

73

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

that the shear behavior of sands under the condition


of triaxial extension is characterized by more shear
contraction. If the maximum excess pore water pressure generated in monotonic shear test is taken as the
index indicating trigger of the flow feature, the highest flow potential is mobilized under triaxial extension
condition while the lowest flow potential is displayed
under triaxial compression condition, the flow potential is in middle under monotonic condition. Such
a difference in shear characteristics may closely be
associated with the combined influence of orientation
of principal stress and intermediate principal stress
on undrained shear behavior. In order to understand
shear behavior of sand under three-dimensional stress
condition, undrained monotonic shear tests were carried out by Yamada and Ishihara (1981) by using a
true triaxial apparatus and it was found that when the
vertical principal stress was minor principal stress,
the undrained shear behavior of sand presented more
remarkable contraction. Through hollow cylindrical
torsional shear tests, it was manifested by Symes et al
(1985), Yoshimine et al (1998) that the more the orientation of major principal stress deviated from the vertical or the more the coefficient of intermediate principal
stress was, the more remarkable shear contraction the
sand behaves. Under different combinations of sand
density and confining pressure, the shear tests conducted by Uthayakumar et al (1998) with unchanged
orientation of principal stress and coefficient of intermediate principal stress indicated that intermediate
principal stress and orientation of principal stress
affect both effective stress path and stress-strain relationship respectively in a certain extent. However, the
combination of the orientation of principal stress and
coefficient of intermediate principal stress is specified
in all the above experimental tests.
In order to perform the shear tests under complex initial stress and physical conditions, an intensive
effort has been made by the Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology
to establish the soil static and dynamic universal triaxial and torsional shear apparatus. By using this
advanced apparatus, a number of experimental tests
are conducted on saturated loose sands under various
complex stress conditions. Then a comprehensive and
systematic investigation on deformation and strength
characteristics of saturated loose sand under monotonic and cyclic shear loading is carried out. On the
basis of experimental results, improvements on conventional elasto-plastic constitutive models are made
and a refined model is proposed.

vh

( v - h )/2

(a)

vh

( v - h )/2

(b)

( v - h )/2

(c)

Figure 1. Stress paths displayed in soil experimental tests.

Figure 2. The main components of the apparatus.

includes direct shear box, simple shear apparatus, triaxial shear apparatus, torsional shear apparatus and
resonance column.
These test apparatus have been playing an irreplaceable important role in understanding of fundamental
deformation behavior and strength properties as well
as constitutive relationship of soils. However, conventional cyclic triaxial shear or/and torsional shear
apparatus are only capable to implement pure shear
state by imposing cyclic deviatoric stress or torsional
shear stress on soil sample and cyclic principal stress
axis changes abruptly for 90 in a cycle of loading
as shown in Figure 1(a) and 1(b) respectively. Both
apparatus can not be simulate complex initial stress
state with different combinations of the coefficient of
intermediate principal stress and orientation of initial
major principal stress and cannot fulfill complex variation pattern of cyclic stresses as induced by wave or
traffic loading.
The soil static and dynamic universal triaxial and
torsional shear apparatus was jointly designed by
Dalian University of Technology and Seiken Corp.,
Inc., Japan and independently manufactured by Seiken
Corp., Inc., Japan in 2001. This new apparatus enables
to simultaneously impose and individually control
both axial pressure W and torque MT as well as outer
chamber pressure p0 and inner chamber pressure pi .
And different combinations of these components can
be fulfilled. Therefore the consolidation and loading
paths under different complex stress condition of soils
can be implemented. This apparatus is composed of
five components including loading system, air-water
transfer system, analogue control system, data acquisition and computer control system, and hydraulic
servo-loading system, as shown in Figure 2.

2 A BRIEF ILLUSTRATION OF TEST


APPARATUS
Generally soil test apparatus in laboratory used for
investigating static and dynamic shear behavior of soils

74

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

vh

W
1.1.1

MT
pi

2=r

po

(a)

MT

pi

po

3
uo
ui

(b)

pi

po

2=r

(c)

Ri
Ro
(d)

Figure 3. Stress condition of soil element in hollow-cylinder soil sample.

d50 = 0.34 mm; uniformity coefficient is Cu = 1.542;


maximum and minimum void ratios are emax = 0.848
and emin = 0.519 respectively; maximum and minimum dry unit weight are dmax = 1.74 gcm3 , and
dmin = 1.43 gcm3 respectively.
Sand samples are prepared with layers filling in dry
state. Proper quantity of stoving-dried sand is weighted
out according to the assigned relative density. For sand
of Dr = 30%, naturally dropping stacking can meet the
requirements of sample preparation. After filling of
dry sand is finished, CO2 and deaerate water are successively poured into the sample and backpressure of
200kPa is pre-imposed in order to the sample fully
saturated. Pore water pressure parameter B of all the
prepared samples are required to gain a value over 0.98.
For the hollow-cylinder soil samples used in the
study, the outer- and inner-diameters of the sample
are 100 mm and 60 mm respectively and the height is
150 mm. Stress state of soil element in the sample is
shown in Figure 3.
In order to examine the effect of the orientation of
principal stress and intermediate principal stress on
soil behavior, the coefficient of intermediate principal
stress b and the orientation angle of major principal
stress with respect to the vertical direction defined
as following are employed in this paper

This advanced apparatus include the following main


functions: (1) static or/and dynamic vertical load
and torque can be imposed simultaneously. For static
loading, the rate of loading can be controlled. For
dynamic loading, the amplitude, frequency of vertical
load and torque and the phase lag between them can
be freely controlled. (2) Isotropic-, anisotropic- and
K0 -consolidation all can be fulfilled. For hollow cylindrical samples, three-dimensional anisotropic consolidation state can be fulfilled through adjusting innerand outer-chamber pressures together with various
combinations of the orientation of initial principal
stress and coefficient of intermediate principal stress.
(3) Both static loading and dynamic loading may be
controlled optionally in either load- or displacementcontrol manner.A closed-loop feedback control is used
during test process.
By this system, both inner- and outer-chamber
pressures, as well as individual components of static
or/cyclic torque or/and axial force can be independently imposed on soil sample and controlled. Accordingly, any types of complex consolidation stress states
of soil with an arbitrary combination of coefficient
of intermediate principal stress and orientation of initial principal stress can be simulated. In addition,
cyclic shear stress induced by cyclic toque and cyclic
deviatoric stress caused by cyclic axial force can be
simultaneously imposed on soil samples and therefore complex variation patterns of stress or stress paths
such as continuous rotation mode of dynamic principal
stress axis, as shown in Figure1(c) can be accomplished. A typical stress state of soil element in hollow
cylindrical sample is illustrated in Figure 3.

b=



2z
1
arctan
2
z

where z and are axial and circumferential mean


normal stresses while z is mean shear stress induced
by torque in the hollow cylinder sample. Furthermore,
mean effective stress p and deviatoric stress q as well
as deviatoric stress ratio are respectively defined as

SOIL SAMPLE PREPARATION AND


DEFINITION OF STRESS PARAMETERS

1
p = m = (1 + 2 + 3 )
3

1 
q=
[( 2 )2 + (2 3 )2 + (3 1 )2 ]
2 1
q
= 
p

The material used for this experimental study is the


Chinese Fujian Standard Sand. The initial relative
density is made to be Dr = 30%. The basic physical properties of such a loose sand are measured. Its
specific gravity is Gs = 2.643; mean granular size is

75

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

2 3
;
1 3

MONOTONIC SHEAR BEHAVIOR


OF SANDS

In order to investigate the influences of initial stress


state and monotonic shear stress paths, five patterns
of stress-controlled monotonic undrained shear tests
as defined as below are conducted.

b=0.22~0.2
5

b
0 0.22 0.5 0.8 1

0 30 45 60 90

(a) Pattern 1

(1) Pattern 1: Under the anisotropic consolidation


condition with mean principal stress of pm0 =
100 kPa and initial effective deviatoric stress ratio
of 0 = q/p = 0.43 as well as orientation angle
of principal stress of 0 = 0 , monotonic shear
tests are conducted for different values of coefficient of intermediate principal stress, e.g., b = 0,
0.22, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0 respectively in order to examine the independent influence of the coefficient of
intermediate principal stress.
(2) Pattern 2: Under the isotropic consolidation condition with mean principal stress of pm0 = 100 kPa
and initial effective deviator stress ratio of 0 =
q/p = 0, for a specified coefficient of intermediate principal stress such as b = 0, 0.22, 0.5, 0.8,
1.0 respectively, monotonic shear tests are conducted for different orientation angles of principal
stress, e.g., 0 = 0 and 0 = 45 , so that the influence of coefficient of intermediate principal stress
under isotropic consolidation condition can be
systematically investigated.
(3) Pattern 3: Under the anisotropic consolidation
condition with mean principal stress of pm0 =
100 kPa and initial effective deviator stress ratio of
0 = q/p = 0.43 as well as coefficient of intermediate principal stress of b = 0.220.25, monotonic
shear tests are conducted for different orientation angles of principal stress, e.g., 0 = 0 , 30 ,
45 , 60 , 90 respectively in order to examine the
independent influence of orientation of principal
stress.
(4) Pattern 4: Under the anisotropic consolidation condition with mean principal stress of
pm0 = 100 kPa and initial effective deviator stress
ratio of 0 = q/p = 0.43 as well as coefficient
of intermediate principal stress of b = 0.22
0.25, monotonic shear tests are conducted for a
specified orientation angles of principal stress
0 = 45 , the soil sample fully consolidated is
unloaded until a isotropic condition is gained, then
the sample is re-sheared in order to observe the
influence of stress path.
(5) Pattern 5: Under the condition with mean principal
stress of pm0 = 100 kPa and coefficient of intermediate principal stress of b = 0.220.25 as well as
orientation angle of principal stress of 0 = 90 ,
monotonic shear tests are conducted for a specified initial deviatoric stress ratio 0 = q/p = 0.6.
The test results are compared with those obtained
from the tests under the condition of = 90 and

(b) Pattern 3

Figure 4. Shear stress paths of monotonic loading under


anisotropic consolidation condition.
160

160

120

120
b=0.00
b=0.22
b=0.50
b=0.80
b=1.00

80
40
0

60

80

100 120

140

(a) Effective stress paths

b=0.00
b=0.22
b=0.50
b=0.80
b=1.00

80
40
0

40

p'

01

2
g(%)

(b) Stress-strain relationships

Figure 5. Effect of the coefficient of intermediate principal stress on undrained shear behavior under anisotropic
consolidation condition.

0 = q/p = 0.433 in pattern 3 in order to observe


the effect of initial deviatoric stress ratio.
All the above tests are implemented under stresscontrolled undrained condition. The stress paths of
pattern 1 and pattern 3 are shown in Figure 4.
4.1

Effect of coefficient of intermediate principal


stress on undrained shear behavior under
anisotropic consolidation condition

The effective stress paths and stress-strain relationships measured in shear tests with pattern 1 are
displayed in Figure 5 for different values of b, e.g.,
b = 0, 0.22, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0. The initial consolidation
ratios are all specified as 0 = q/p = 0.433 while the
orientation of major principal stress is in vertical, i.e.,
0 = 0 . It can be seen that under undrained condition for all these coefficients of intermediate principal
stress, the loose sand displays strain-hardening characteristics and obvious dialatancy feature through shear
loading and ultimately approaches to a steady state at
a certain deviatoric stress ratio. While the orientation
of major principal stress keeps unchanged, the coefficient of intermediate principal stress has no noticeable
influence on effective stress path and stress-strain
relationship as well as flow potential of sands.
4.2 Effect of coefficient of intermediate principal
stress on undrained shear behavior under
isotropic consolidation condition
For pattern 2 with different values of the coefficient of intermediate principal stress, e.g., b = 0, 0.22,

76

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0=0

160

40
0

30

60
p'/kPa

120

b=0
b=0.22
b=0.5
b=0.8
b=1.0

80
40

90

120

(a) 0=0

30

60
p'/kPa

90

120

(b) 0=45

2
3
g/%

b=0
b=0.22
b=0.5
b=0.8
b=1.0

120

b=0
b=0.22
b=0.5
b=0.8
b=1.0

80
40

80

=45

40
0

(a)

3
g/%

(b)

Figure 7. Effect of b on stress-strain relationship under


isotropic consolidation.

Figure 6. Effect of b on effective stress paths under isotropic


consolidation.

0.5, 0.8, and 1.0, the stress paths under isotropic


consolidation condition are shown in Figure 6 respectively for = 0 , = 45 . Through the experimentally
measured data, the combined influence of both the
coefficient of intermediate principal stress and orientation of principal stress on undrained monotonic shear
behavior can be observed.
It was proposed by Yoshimine and Ishihara (1998)
that the maximum pore water pressure generated during undrained shear loading is usually used to evaluate
flow potential. It can be found from Figure 6 that under
the same isotropic consolidation condition, sand samples subjected to shearing with different orientation
of resulting major principal stress exhibit different
flow potential with a somewhat remarkable difference.
The more the orientation of major principal stress deviates from the vertical, the more flow potential the sand
displays. However, similar to anisotropic consolidation condition, for a definite orientation of principal
stress, the coefficient of intermediate principal stress
does not affect effective stress paths remarkably. For
the condition of = 0 , pore water pressures generated
under the four cases of b = 0, 0.22, 0.5, 0.8 do not show
much difference each other while relatively higher
pore water pressure is developed at extension phase
(b = 1). For the condition of = 45 , however, under
the five cases of b = 0, 0.22, 0.5, 0.8, 1.0, the resulting
pore water pressure are rather close to each other and
the pore water pressure developed at extensioin phase
(b = 1) does not attain its maximum.
The Influence of the coefficient of intermediate
principal stress on stress-strain relationship is indicated in Figure 7 respectively for = 0 and = 45 .
For the case of = 0 which corresponds to an extension state, deformation of sand develops rather faster
with considerable strain-hardening feature. Through
the comparison between two cases of = 0 and
= 45 , it is implied that the coefficient of intermediate principal stress imposes a much less obvious effect
compared with the influence of orientation of principal
stress.
For a given orientation of principal stress under
either isotropic or anisotropic consolidation condition,
the influence of coefficient of intermediate stress on

160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
20

160
140 =0
0
0=30
120
0=45
100
0=30
0=45
0=0
80
0=60
0=60
60
C
40
0=90
0=90
20
0
40
60
80 100 120
01
23
45
6 7
p'
(%)
g

(a) Effective stress path

(b) Stress-strain

Figure 8. Effect of orientation of principal stress on


undrained shear characteristics of sand.

both effective stress path and stress-strain relationship


is not remarkable. It seems that the flow potential is
not intimately related to the coefficient of intermediate
principal stress.
4.3 Effect of orientation of principal stress on
undrained shear behavior under anisotropic
consolidation condition
For pattern 3 with orientation angles of principal stress
of 0 = 0 , 30 , 45 , 60 , 90 respectively, the measured effective stress paths and relationships between
generalized deviatoric stress and generalized shear
strain are shown in Figure 8 in which the point C
denotes consolidation stress state. It can be found
that orientation of principal stress influences quite
remarkably on either effective stress path or stressstrain relationship. The more the orientation of major
principal stress deviates from the vertical, the more
remarkably the pore water pressure rises and the more
dilatant and heavier strain softening the loose sand
displays at transitional state. For example, when the
orientation of major principal stress is vertical, i.e.,
0 = 0 , build-up of pore water pressure is only up to
about 21% of the mean confining pressure while when
orientation of major principal stress is horizontal, i.e.,
0 = 90 , rise of pore water pressure may be up to 61%
of the mean confining pressure. Even for the sands
with the same initial physical conditions, difference
of orientation of principal stress results in obviously

77

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

160

=0

120
q/kPa

b=0
b=0.22
b=0.5
b=0.8
b=1.0

80

q/kPa

q/kPa

120

=45

q/kPa

160

=0

160

140

140
b=0.22

120

100

100

q PT

80

100
path5( 0=90)

80
60
40

60

20

path4( 0=90)
path3( 0=45)

0
40

40

60

path1( 0=45)

120

path1( 0=45)

80
p'm

120

80

60

40

path2
( 0=45)

100

120

path2( 0=45)
path4( 0=90)
path3( 0=45)

20
0

path5( 0=90)

b=0.22

3 4
g(%)

20
0

0.0

0.2

0.4
0.6
sin

0.8

Figure 10. The effect of effective stress ratio and shear stress
paths on stress-strain relations.

1.0

phase-transformation state. It can be seen that the


deviatoric stress at phase-transformation state almost
linearly descends with increase of orientation of major
principal stress. In general, the more the orientation
of major principal stress deviates from the vertical,
the more serious the shear contractive softening is
during undrained shear loading. In general the deviatoric stress at the phase-transformation stage is defined
as quasi-steady-state strength. Therefore the quasisteady-state strength reduces with the increase of
orientation of major principal stress with respect to
the vertical.
Presented in Figure 10 are the measured effective
stress paths and stress-strain relationships for different
test patterns indicating the influences of consolidation
condition and shear loading paths on undrained shear
behavior. The observations are given as following:

Figure 9. Correlation of PT at phase-transformation state


with orientation of principal stress .

different flow potential under undrained shear condition. Therefore the loose sand may present different
deformation features such as strain softening or strain
hardening. This may be related to the anisotropic state
of the sample formed in preparation of the sample. In
fact, the sample is prepared in layer and consolidated
due to gravity force. Water drainage in the sample is
downwards or upwards. It is easy to form horizontal
planes of deposition. Therefore, the larger the orientation angle of major principal stress is, or the closer to
horizontal layer plane the orientation of major principal stress is, the easier the sand is compressed and thus
pore water pressure generates rapidly and develops to
a large value.
Through observation of the test results shown
in Figure 8 and Figure 5 and Figure 6, it can be
seen that influence of orientation of major principal stress on flow potential is much more remarkable stronger than that of coefficient of intermediate
principal stress. The tests on undisturbed soil samples conducted by Yoshimine, Ishihara and Matsuzaki
(1995) demonstrated that saturated sand at triaxial extension condition behaves completely different
shear features from that at triaxial compression condition. Strain softening feature is manifested for loose
sand under undrained triaxial compression condition
( = 0 , b = 0). Under undrained triaxial extension
condition ( = 90 , b = 1), However, full static liquefaction is displayed. It was explained by Yoshimine,
Ishihara and Matsuzaki (1995) that such a characteristic is related to orientation of major principal stress
and coefficient of intermediate principal stress. However, experimental data given in this paper justifies the
fact that flow potential under triaxial extension is heavier than that under triaxial compression. Therefore the
effect of rotation of principal stress on shear behavior
of sands may be appreciable and cannot be overlooked
in engineering practice.
Shown in Figure 9 is the effect of orientation of
principal stress on generalized shear stress ratio at

(1) Under the same initial consolidation condition with the orientation of principal stress of
0 = 45 , a comparison of test results of pattern 3 and pattern 4 indicates that prior stress
history does almost not affect the following effective stress path and phase-transformation state
or ultimate steady state of the samples. It is
noted that in pattern 4, the same isotropic stress
state as the initial consolidation state in pattern
3 is attained through unloading from an initial
anisotropic consolidation state and thereafter the
samples in pattern 3 and pattern 4 undergo the
identical shear loading. During further shear loading, the samples reach phase-transformation state
and ultimately approach to stead state of deformation in the almost same way at a nearly identical
deviator stress ratio.
(2) Through the comparison between test data
under anisotropic consolidation condition of
0 = q/p = 0.433 in pattern 3 and under isotropic
condition of 0 = q/p = 0 in pattern 2 for the
same case of 0 = 45 , and comparison between
test results under 0 = 45 in pattern 3 and
under 0 = 90 in pattern 5 for the same case
of b = 0.220.25, it is demonstrated that if
both the orientations of principal stress and the
coefficients of intermediate principal stress are

78

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

20

20

10

-20

-10

20

10

20 -20

-10

-10

20 -20

10

-10

(z - )/2

(z - )/2

-20

10

20

(z - )/2

(b) 0

-6

-4

-2

20

d/kPa

10

10

-10
-20

(a) 90

6 -6

-4

-2

60

40

40
20

20

30

-20

(b) 0

6 -6

-4

-2

d/kPa

-40 -20
0

-20

50

60

0
0
-20

z/%

-40

30

40

50

-40 -20

20

40

-40 -20

0
0
-10

(z- )/2.0

-20

20

40

(z- )/2.0

(b) 0=90
40

40

20

40 -40 -20

0
0

20

40 -40 -20

(c) 0=90

-40

20

40

-20

-20
(z- )/2.0

20

20

-20

identical for different loading patterns, the effective stress paths and the stress-strain relationships
as well as strain-hardening or softening tendency
under undrained shear condition are basically
similar.
(3) Compared with the effect of fabric anisotropicy
caused by preparation of sample, anisotropic
effect induced by initial stress ratio imposes
relatively less influence on shear behavior of sand.

10

(a) 0=0

40

(c) 180

-40

(z- )/2.0

(d) 0=45

-40

(z- )/2.0

(e) 0=60

Figure 14. Cyclic shear loading patterns in torsional shear


tests.

rises up to the effective stress being zero finally with


increase of cyclic number of loading. Under isotropic
consolidation condition, time-history of pore water
pressure development for the case of 0 = 90 is shown
in Figure 13. It appears that the deformation is of symmetric mode and is not accumulated in a certain single
direction.

CYCLIC SHEAR BEHAVIOR OF SANDS


UNDER ISOTROPIC CONSOLIDATION
CONDITION

5.2 Under anisotropic consolidation condition


Under three-dimensional consolidation condition
which corresponds respectively to different orientation of initial principal stress of 0 = 0 , 30 , 45 , 60 ,
90 and coefficient of intermediate principal stress of
b = 0.5, different patterns of loading paths as shown in
Figure 14 are imposed in cyclic torsional shear tests.
Accordingly, the dynamic stress-strain relationships
measured from these tests are described in Figure 15.
When the initial orientation of principal stress is
0 = 0 or 0 = 90 , no pre-shear stress induced by
initial consolidation is imposed on the horizontal and
vertical planes. Residual component of shear strain
is rather less and cyclic deformation feature is rather
obvious relative to the accumulated residual deformation. Since pore water pressure can not rise to
the confining pressure under anisotropic consolidation
condition, effective stress will not drop to vanish.

Under isotropic consolidation condition

Displayed in Figure 11 are the measured loading paths


in the triaxial-and-torsioinal coupling shear tests under
isotropic consolidation condition with different phase
lags of 90 , 0 and 180 between cyclic axial load and
torque.
The stress-strain relationships achieved from various tests as given in Figure 11 are shown in Figure 12.
It can be seen that for whatever loading path, both
cyclic effect and accumulative effect are rather remarkable. When the sample has been pre-sheared before
subjected to cyclic shear, development of shear strain
follows basically symmetric cyclic mode and accumulative mode. Under isotropic consolidation condition,
the residual accumulative component of shear deformation develops rapidly since pore water pressure

79

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

20

20

Figure 12. Shear stress-strain relations in triaxial-andtorsional coupling shear tests under isotropic consolidation
condition.

5.1

10

20

20

-10
z/%

40

Figure 13. Time-history of pore water pressure development.

10

n
0

40

20

-10
z/%

60

(c) 180

d/kPa

80

Figure 11. Stress paths in vertical-and-torsional coupling


shear tests under isotropic consolidation condition.
20

u/kPa

80

20

-20

-20

(a) 90

u/kPa

-10

-10

100

100

10

10

Therefore the accumulated shear strain at failure


does not reach 0.5%, and it is obviously different
from the accumulative effect in isotropic consolidation condition. The typical time-history of pore water
pressure development under anisotropic consolidation condition with 0 = 0 is depicted in Figure 13.
However, when 0 = 30 , 45 , 60 , in fact, due to
pre-shearing effect of initial stress imposed on the
horizontal and vertical planes, in addition to the
cyclic component of deformation, the residual shear
strain progressively accumulates with the cycle number of loading and becomes rather substantial and
reaches rapidly a certain amount over than 5%. At
this moment, the accumulative effect of deformation is
rather remarkable compared with cyclic deformation.
Furthermore, shear deformation is accumulated in a

30

certain single direction and differs from that happened


under isotropic consolidation condition.
This observed feature is almost independent on
the coefficient of intermediate principal stress. This
is confirmed by Figure 16 where the test results of
0 = 0 or 0 = 60 for two cases with the coefficients
of intermediate principal stress of b = 0 and b = 0.85
are compared. On one hand, it can be observed by
comparing Figure 16(a) with Figure 16(b) that even
though the coefficients of intermediate principal stress
are not the same for both two cases, they display
similar feature since no pre-shear stress is acted on
the horizontal planes, i.e., cyclic effect is obviously
more significant than accumulative effect. On the other
hand, Comparison between Figure 16 (b) and Figure
16 (c) indicates that for the same coefficient of intermediate principal stress of b = 0.85, the stress-strain
relationships for 0 = 0 and 0 = 60 are noticeably
different. Under anisotropic consolidation condition
with 0 = 60 , an initial shear stress is pre-imposed
on the horizontal plane, the unidirectional accumulative effect obviously play a predominant role compared
with the cyclic effect, resulting in rapidly-increased
shear strain.
For the calcareous sand of Nansha Islands, the relationships between dynamic stress and strain measured
from torsional shear tests are manifested in Figure 17.
For both isotropic consolidation (IC) and anisotropic
consolidation (AC) conditions with 0 = 0 as shown
in Figure 17(a) and Figure 17(b), no pre-shear stress
is initially applied on the horizontal plane while a
certain initial shear stress is preloaded on the horizontal plane for anisotropic consolidation (AC) condition
with 0 = 30 as given in Figure 17(c). Shear behavior of this type of calcareous sand is quite similar to
the performance of Fujian standard sand subjected
to undrained cyclic shear under various consolidation conditions. Therefore, for both clean sand and
calcareous sand, it is consistently demonstrated by
experimental test data that pre-shear stress applied on
action plane of dynamic stress exhibits a considerable
effect on dynamic stress-strain relationship pattern.
The influence is almost independent on sand material and the coefficient of intermediate principal stress

d/kPa

15
0
-15

z /%

-30
-0.4

-0.2

0.0

0.2

0.4

(a) 0=0
20

d/kPa

10
0

-10

z /%

-20
-6

-5

-4

-3

-2

-1

(b) 0=30
20

d/kPa

10
0
-10
-20

z /%

(c) 0=45
20
10

d/kPa

0
-10

z /%

-20
-6

-5

-4

-3

-2

-1

(d) 0=60

30

10
5

20

30
20

20

/kPa
d

/kPa
d

10

d/kPa

10

10

0
0
-0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 -6
-10
-10

0
-5
-10
-0.3

/kPa
d

z /%

-0.2

-0.1

0.0

0.1

0.2

-10
-20

0.3

-30

(e) 0=90

z /%

(a) b=0.0( 0=0)

-20
-30

z /%

-20

z /%

(b) b=0.85( 0=0) (c) b=0.85( 0=60)

Figure 16. Stress-strain relations in cyclic torsional shear


tests under anistropic consolidation conditions.

Figure 15. Shear stress-strain relations in cyclic torsional


tests under anisotropic consolidation conditions.

80

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0
-3

while it is associated with the orientation of initial


principal stress in a certain extent.

shown and compared in Figure 18. It can be found


that under the same orientation of initial principal
stress, the sands may display following similar features
during monotonic and cyclic shear.

(1) With increase of the orientation of major principal stress relative to the vertical, development of
generalized shear strain becomes more remarkable and strain- softening feature gets more
noticeable.
(2) After undergoing strain softening stage, the sand
under any initial stress state exhibits strainhardening feature. As illustrated in Figure 18,
generalized shear strain develops rapidly within
the first three load cycles. The deformation during this stage is defined as flow-slide deformation
or the sand undergoes flow failure stage which
corresponds to strain-softening stage in monotonic shear. Then strain is alternatively varied
in both directions with no unidirectional accumulation. Consequently, the deformation progressively approaches to steady state which is
defined as cyclic mobility and corresponds to
stepping into the strain-hardening stage during monotonic shear as stated by Hyodo et al
(1994). Therefore, the flow-slide deformation and
cyclic mobility during cyclic shear are closely
related to strain-softening and strain- hardening features during monotonic shear respectively. When deviatoric stress amplitude during
cyclic shear is higher than the lowest strength
in strain-softening stage or in quasi-steady state
during monotonic shear, remarkable flow-slide

CORRELATION BETWEEN MONOTONIC


AND CYCLIC SHEAR FEATURES

Under the same initial consolidation condition, both


monotonic and cyclic torsional shear tests are conducted. The relationship between deviatoric stress and
generalized shear strain measured from these tests are
30

/kPa

/kPa

20

20

10
-6

-4

-2

10
0

-10

0
-0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6
-10
z /%

4
6
z /%

-20

-20

-30

-30

(b) AC condition (0=0)

(a) IC condition
30

15

/kPa

-15

z /%

-30
01

23

(c) AC condition (0=30)


Figure 17. Shear feature of calcareous sand under various
initial consolidation conditions and loading patterns.

140
100

(a)

monotonic

80
60

cyclic

40
20

3 4
g/%

(b)

100

60

40

40
2

3 4
g/%

(d)

0=0

cyclic

monotonic

60

60

(e)

monotonic

40

40
20
0

20
0

0=0

80
/kPa
q

q/kPa

80

100

120
100

80 monotonic

60

3
g/%

20

cyclic
0

3
g/%

Figure 18. The stress-strain relations under monotonic shear and cyclic shear in torsional shear tests.

81

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(c)

100

cyclic

0=0

120

monotonic

80

20

140

0=0

120
q/kPa

q/kPa

140

0=0

120

q/kPa

30

cyclic

3 4
g/%

deformation may occur. Moreover, the effect of


orientation of principal stress on this feature is
substantial.

of initial principal stress, the deviatoric stress ratios


at phase-transformation state and at steady state in
monotonic shear tests are nearly equal to the partners respectively at the moment when obvious shear
dilatancy starts and at steady state in cyclic tests. It
is implied that the phase-transformation-state line and
steady-state or failure line under monotonic and cyclic
shear conditions are respectively identical.
Stress-strain relationships measured from monotonic tests and cyclic torsional shear tests are shown
in Figure 21 in term of deviatoric stress ratio and
genralized shear strain. Both monotonic and cyclic
shear loading tests exhibits a very similar pattern.
The variation feature of peak deviatoric stress and
strain in each cycle in cyclic loading test almost
approaches the model relating deviatoric stress and
strain in monotonic loading test. For any a given value
of the orientation of principal stress, the relationship
between deviatoric stress and generalized strain follows a fully strain-hardening type quasi-hyperbolic
model. Such an empirical model will offer a basic
support for establishing modern practical nonlinear
elasto-plastic constitutive model of sand.

Shown in Figure 19 is the relations between deviatoric stress and generalized shear strain observed from
triaxial-and-torsional coupling shear tests in the case
of 0 = 60 and b = 0.5. It can be seen that after the
triaxial-torsional coupling shear, stress path enters into
the strain-softening stage with a substantial deformation. This phenomenon is similar to what happens
in cyclic torsional shear tests. When the amplitude
of cyclic stress becomes larger, the flow feature of
deformation gets more obvious.
Under the same initial stress condition, the effective
stress paths measured in both cyclic and monotonic
shear tests are given in Figure 20. The enhanced stress
path for 0 = 45 is shown in Figure 20(f). During
monotonic or cyclic shear, the mean principal stress
keeps unchanged. Variation of pore water pressure
induced by shear-dilatancy or contraction leads to
change of effective stress. Under the condition with
the almost same coefficient of intermediate principal stress of b = 0.220.25 and a given orientation
120

1.5

0=60

1.2

monotonic

100

0.9

monotonic
cyclic

q/kPa

0.6

80

0.3
0

qcyc=15.1kPa
qcyc=13.4kPa

60

1.5
1.2

40

g/%

(a) 0=0

monotonic
cyclic

0.9

20

3
4
g/%

0.6

1.5
1.2

120
100

80

80

60

60

100

=90
0

80

monotonic
cyclic

g/%

0.3
0
1.5

=45
0

(c) 0=60

0.9

p'

(f)
40

60

80

100

monotonic
cyclic

0.6
0.3

1.2
q

0.6

60

40
40
40
20
20
p'
p'
(d)
(e)
0
20
0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 20

(d) 0=90

g/%
5

Figure 21. Relations between deviatoric stress ratio and


generalized strain in monotonic and cyclic shear loading.

Figure 20. The effective stress paths in monotonic shearing


and cyclic torsional shear tests.

82

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.9

160
160
140
140 q
140 q =0
=30
120 q 0=45
0
0
120
120
100
100
100
80
80
80
60
60
60
40
40
40
p'
20
p'
p'
20
20
(b)
(a)
(c)
0
0
0
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
q
100
0=60

(b) 0=30

Figure 19. The stress-strain relationships in monotonic and


cyclic torsional shear tests.

120

g/%

0.3
0

MODERN CONSTITUTIVE MODEL


CONSIDERING INITIAL ANISOTROPY

combined effect of mean confining pressure and initial


void ratio. On one hand, both confining pressure and
void ratio are taken into consideration by utilizing the
state parameter. On the other hand, the empirical quasihyperbolic equation relating deviatoric stress ratio and
generalized strain established on the basis of experimental data is directly used and its dependency on the
orientation of initial principal stress is duly considered.

It is commonly recognized that stress-strain behavior


of sands is indispensably dependent on initial states
such as initial relative density and effective confining
pressure. The sand may behave dilative or contractive
during shear dependent on the initial condition. On
one hand, loose sands are easy to be dilative while
dense sands easily tend to be contractive during shear
loading under the same confining pressure. On the
other hand, sands with the same initial relative density
may be shear dilative under lower confining pressure
and may be shear contractive under high confining
pressure (e.g., Luo and Zhang, 2004a and 2004b).
In fact, relative density of material or effective confining pressure during loading may alter, leading to
change of physical state of the material. In order to
represent the combined influence of change of physical state of material induced by change of relative
density and confining pressure on deformation and
strength behavior of sand, the state parameter proposed
by Been and Jefferies (1985) was introduced into constitutive model of sand based on the fundamental of
critical soil mechanics in recent year (e.g., Jefferies,
1993). The state parameter, = e ec , is defined as
the relative difference between the current void ratio e
and the critical void ratio ec at which the sand undergo
steady deformation under the same confining pressure
as that corresponds to the current void ratio. It is used to
describe the degree of denseness of material relative to
its reference density. Different types of elasto-plastic
constitutive models were successively developed by
Wood et al. (1994), Cubrinovski and Ishihara (1998),
Li (1997), Li and Ming (2000), Li and Dafalias (2000)
to simulate the state-dependent behavior of sands for a
wide range of material density and confining pressure
by virtue of the state parameter. In fact, in addition
to the combined effect of relative density and confining pressure, other parameters of initial physical and
stress state, such as the orientation of initial principal stress and the coefficient of intermediate principal
stress, may play a significant role in monotonic or/and
cyclic shear behavior of sands. Indeed, it is verified
by the experimental tests as illustrated above that the
orientation of initial principal stress profoundly affects
the shear- dilative or contractive and strain-hardening
or softening feature of sands. Under the initial condition with the same confining pressure and identical
relative density, the more the orientation of major
principal stress deviates from the vertical, the more
remarkable the shear contractive feature is. Relatively
the influence of the coefficient of intermediate principal stress is much minor.Therefore the state-dependent
elasto-plastic constitutive model is refined in the following in order to take account the influence of the
orientation of major principal stress in addition to the

7.1 Improvement of the state-dependent


elasto-plastic constitutive model of sands
Similar to the critical state given in critical-state soil
mechanics, as defined by Poulos (1981), the steady
state of deformation for any mass of particles is
that state in which the mass is continuously deforming at constant volume, constant normal effective
stress, constant shear stress, and constant velocity. It
is emphasized that the steady state of deformation can
be only achieved when both deviatoric stress ratio and
void ratio attain their critical values. The critical void
ratio is dependent on pressure and can be expressed as
below
  
p
ec = e c
pa
Accordingly, the state parameter defined by Been and
Jefferies (1985) can be given as following for a given
current stress p ,

  
p
(1)
= e ec = e e  c
pa

Void Ratio e

Thereafter, both influences of mean confining pressure


and corresponding relative void can be represented by
this unified state parameter. As shown in Figure 22,
from the viewpoint of relative density of sand, the
state parameter gives the measurement of how far the
current state is from the corresponding steady state.

(Dilative)

>0

(Contractive)
Steady state line

(p/pa)

Figure 22. Steady state line and state parameter.

83

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

<0

It is noted that the dependency of dilatancy on initial intrinsic state of material is overlooked in all the
above stress-dilatancy relations that therefore can not
authentically reproduce shear feature of sand. In fact,
it has been observed experimentally that dilatancy of
sand not only depends on deviatoric stress ratio, but
also is closely related to internal state of material.
Especially influence of density can not be ignored.
Based on experimental observation on the feature
of shear response of sand and simplified analysis
of microscopic deformation, a general mathematical
expression of dilatancy such as d = d(, e, Q, C) was
proposed by Li and Dafalias (2000) in order to take
account the dependency of dilatancy on material intrinsic state by using the common terms Q and C to
describe internal state of material excluding void ratio
e. Therefore, the dilatancy given by Li and Dafalias
(2000) is uniquely associated with the current state
including changes of both internal parameters, e and Q,
and external parameter, . This state-dependent dilatancy provides the basis of flow rule of plasticity and
is used in this paper to establish constitutive model
of sand.
The stress-dilatancy equation proposed by Li and
Dafaliad (2000) is expressed as

According to the position of the current state parameter with respect to the steady-state line, the soil is
divided into two types of states, i.e., shear dilative and
shear contractive.
Sand of shear-dilative type denotes the current
state parameter of which is located at left below the
steady-state or critical-state line and volume of the soil
displays expansive feature during shear failure. However, soil of shear contractive-type denotes the current
state parameter of which is located at right above the
steady-state line and volume of the soil displays the
contractive feature during shear failure.
As a fundamental element of elasto-plastic constitutive model of soils, the stress-dilatancy equation is
usually employed as flow rule to define the direction of
plastic flow. For the well-known Cam-clay model, the
original and improved dilatancy equations are given
respectively as
d =M
or
d=

(M 2 2 )
2

Where M is the stress ratio at steady state and the


dilatancy d is defined as the ratio of plastic volumetric
strain to plastic shear strain, i.e.,

d=

dv
d0
[Mc exp (m) ]
p =
Mc
dq

(2)

d=

dv
p
dq

where dvp and dqp are respectively volumetric and


shear components of incremental plastic strain while
Mc is the deviatoric stress ratio at steady state, i.e.,
= e ec = 0. at which dilatancy vanishes completely. When d0 = Mc , m = 0, the general form of
dilatancy relation of Eq. 2 can be reduced to the simplified dilatancy expression of the original Cam-clay
model, i.e., d = M .
Furthermore, when the orientation of major principal stress from the vertical gets larger, the sand displays
much more shear-contraction while strain-softening
takes place then, as shown in Figure 8. However,
no matter whether it is strain-hardening or softening, shear-dilatation or contraction, the relationship
between deviatoric stress ratio and generalized strain
all follows a hardening-type quasi-hyperbolic model,
as shown in Figure 21. It is indicated that development
of irrecoverable deformation is closely related to stress
ratio.
Therefore the following empirical relation between
deviatoric stress ratio and generalized strain similar to
that proposed by Cubrinovski and Ishihara (1998) is
used when elastic shear deformation is overlooked,

Therefore, the dilatancy is dependent uniquely on


stress ratio. The cam-clay model can successfully
reproduce shear behavior of normally consolidated
clay and slightly over-consolidated clay. For sands,
a constitutive model for sand under triaxial compression condition was proposed by Nova and Wood
(1979) in which the following stress-dilatancy relation
is employed
= M d
Where is a material constant. When = 1, the above
dilatancy equation is directly reduced to the original version of the Cam-clay model. The following
complex stress-dialtancy equation is utilized in the
constitutive model of sands developed by Jefferies
(1993)
d=

(M )
(1 N )

where N is a material constant. When N = 0, the above


equation is simplified to the original Cam-caly-type
stress-dilatancy relation.

G N g
0
GN q
=

p
M P + G N g
MP 0
MP + G N q

84

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(3)

GN
p + GN

q q
=
(M

)M
p
0
p
p
p
q
(Mp + GN q )2

Where Mp is the peak of deviatoric stress ratio and GN


is modulus of plasticity dependent on plastic deformation which decreases with increase of plastic strain as
below


p
q
GN = (GN,max GN,min ) exp f 0 + GN,min (4)
q

or


GN
f
p = 0 (GN GN , min )
q
q

where q0 is the plastic shear strain, GN,max and GN,min


are initial maximum and minimum generalized shear
modulus respectively at small strain and at large strain,
both of which depend on the orientation of major principal stress. The parameter, f, controls the extent of
shear modulus GN from GN,max to GN,min , is generally no less than 3. When assuming the plastic shear
strain is q0 = 0.01, f is almost unchanged. The effect
of orientation of principal stress on GN is usually represented by GN,min . The parameter f approaches to a
constant when GN attains to GN,min .
In conventional elasto-plastic model, the total incremental strain is usually composed of both elastic and
p
plastic components, i.e., dij = dije + dij . When it is
further assumed that elastic deformation is linear and
isotropic, the anisotropic component of deformation
response of sand is determined by plastic deformation.
The following loading function is assumed
f = q p = 0


2 

p
Mp 1 Mp
q

G
=

f
(G

G
)
N
N
N , min
p
(Mp 0 )
q0
q
(7b)
From which the plastic hardening modulus dependent
on deformation is given as
2 


p
Mp 1 Mp
q
GN f 0 (GN GN , min )
H p = p
(Mp 0 )
q
(8)
Then the incremental strain can be obtained as below


f
1
1 f
dp +
dq =
(dq dp)
dqp = L =
Hp p
q
Hp
(9a)
d
dvp = Ld =
(dq dp)
(9b)
Hp

(5)

Then the incremental plastic strain can be defined as


below based on the associated flow rule


1 f
f
f
p
dij = L
=
dij
ij
Hp ij
ij

Furthermore, the incremental plastic strains are added


to elastic strains to gain the total incremental strains
1
dq
+
(dq dp)
3G
Hp
d
dp
dv = dve + dvp =
+
(dq dp)
K
Hp

Where

dq = dqe + dqp =

L = dqp =

1 f
dij
Hp ij

The consistency condition of plasticity, i.e., df = 0,


yields

They can be respectively simplified as below




1
1

+
dp
dq
dq =
3G
Hp
Hp


1
d
d

dq +
dp
dv =
Hp
K
Hp

f
f p
f p
dij +
d = LHp +
d = 0
ij
qp q
qp q
Accordingly, the modulus of plasticity can be written as
Hp =

(7a)

f
qp

(10b)

where the elastic shear modulus G and elastic bulk


modulus K are given as following

(2.97 e)2 p
(11a)
G = G 0 pa
1+e
pa

(6)

The following terms can be gained by using Eq (4) and


Eq (3) respectively



p
GN
f
q

=
(G

G
)
exp
f
N , max
N , min
p
q0
q0
q

K =G

85

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(10a)

2(1 + )
3(1 2)

(11b)

12

1500

1- 3/kPa

1000

10
8
6

p=50kPa
p=200kPa
p=500kPa

2000

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8
0.7

500

0.7

0.6

-4

600
p'/kPa

-6

(a)

-2

-500
Dr=30%

-1000

Dr=60%

-1500
-2000

Dr=80%

-2500
0

10

20

30

40

dq =

D
C
dq +
dv
A+B
A+B

(12a)

dp =

BD
AC
dq +
dv
A+B
A+B

(12b)

KHp
,
Hp Kd

1200

0.6

02

4
6
(p/pa)0.88

(b)

qss/kPa

1600
1200
800
400
0
0

200

400

600

800

1000 1200

p'ss/kPa

Where

C=

900

2000

Finally, the resulting relationship between incremental


stresses and incremental strains can be rewritten as

Hp + 3G
,
3G

300

Figure 24. Ultimate steady-state line in ep space.

-10
-12
50

Figure 23. Inter-relationships among deviatoric stress and


volumetric strain as well as axial strain in drained triaxial
shear tests.

A=

-8

z/%

Figure 25. Ultimate steady-state line in qss pss space.

B=

Kd
,
Hp Kd

D=

seems to depend on the initial fabric structure of. In


order to represent uniquely such an empirical relation,
the correction procedure as proposed by Luan, et al
(2000) is employed as following

Hp

It can be observed that the proposed model totally


includes 10 parameters to be defined.
7.2

e=0.81-0.01(p/pa)0.88

2500

e = e

(13)

where e and e are respectively the original and correlated void ratios at steady state while Rc and Rcr are
original and arbitrarily-chosen reference relative densities. It is noted that the relative density is defined as
the ratio of current dry density to its maximum dry density. In this paper, the reference relative density is given
at 89%. As shown in Figure 24(b), the steady-state
line correlated by relative density may be considered
to be unique. On the other hand, the measured steadystate line in qss pss space is given in Figure 25. It
can be seen that the steady state line expressed in
term of stress ratio is basically unique, and the stable
stress ratio is qss /pss = 1.386. It is nearly identical to
Mp = 1.4 of the ultimate stress ratio which is measured
from undrained shear tests at = 0 . The fact that the
steady-state line in e-pss space is not unique while the
steady-state line in qss pss space is unique is similar to
the observation for completely-decomposed granites
in Hong Kong area as stated by Luan et al (2000).

Calibration of the model parameters

Among the 10 parameters appearing in the constitutive


model, Mc , e , c and of steady state parameters may
be determined by conventional undrained or drained
triaxial tests. Presented in Figure 23 are the interrelationships among deviatoric stress and volumetric
strain as well as axial strain measured from drained triaxial tests under the conditions of mean consolidation
pressure of pm = 50 kPa, 200 kPa, 500 kPa and relative
density of Dr = 30%, 60%, 80% respectively. It can be
seen that when deformation reaches about 30%, the
deviatoric stress and volumetric strain approach nearly
a steady stage, i.e., a steady state is basically achieved
then. As shown in Figure 24(a), at steady state of deformation, the shear strength defined is correlated with
the initial void ratio under undrained shear.
It is found that such a steady-state line in the space
of void ratio and mean effective stress is not unique and

86

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Rc
Rcr

p=50kPa
p=200kPa
p=500kPa

1E-4

160
G0

600

120
80

GN, min

1/E0

800

200

2E-4

40
0

0
0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
z/%

200

400
p/kPa

600

400
200
0

Figure 26. Determination of elasticity parameters.

0.0

0.2

1.1
1.0

0.4 0.6
sin0

0.8

1.0

Figure 28. Determination of the parameter GN .

GN=GN,max

0.9

1.6

0.8

1.5

0.7
1.4
MP

GN =GN,min

0.6
0.5
0.4
0.0

1.3
1.2

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

1.1

g/%

1.0

0.0

0.2

Figure 27. Determination of the parameter GN .

0.8

1.0

Figure 29. Determination of the parameter Mp .

The parameters m and d0 are related to dilatancy


feature. m can be determined accordingly by Eq 2
when d is assumed to be zero on the basis of the
steady state defined from undrained torsional shear
tests. d0 is determined by the v q relationship measured from drained shear tests with elastic deformation
is overlooked.
The elasticity parameters include Poissons ratio
and maximum shear modulus G0 . When Poissons ratio
is given at 0.2, G0 can be determined from conventional drained triaxial tests. The test results of drained
triaxial tests under different combinations of confining
pressure and relative density as shown in Figure 26(a)
are used to define the Initial elasticity modulus which
is then converted through Eq 10 into the constant
G0 . The values of G0 defined in this manner are
given in Figure 26(b). It is found that G0 = 6065 is
appropriate.
The parameters in the hyperbolic-type empirical
relation between deviatoric stress ratio and generalized strain include GN,max , GN,min and Mp . GN,max
and GN,min correspond to module of plasticity at large
strain of 0.01% and small strain of 1% respectively. As
shown in Figure 27, in order to appropriately reproduce
full stress and strain response at both small and large
deformation stages, two parameters are specially used.
GN,max can be evaluated from the empirical correlation
Eq 11a according to initial consolidation stress. As
pointed out by Guo (2003), the dependency of initial

maximum shear modulus on orientation of principal


stress is not significant and is not taken into account
in this paper.
When deformation gets rather large, the minimum shear modulus is obviously dependent on initial
anisotropy of sand. It means that GN,min would depend
on orientation of principal stress. The parameters measured in tests are shown in Figure 28 by solid squares. It
can be seen that GN,min is related linearly to orientation
of principal stress as following
GN ,min = B1 B2 sin 0

(14)

For different orientation angles of major principal


stress with respect to the vertical, the value of Mp
obtained from undrained shear tests under complex
stress condition are shown in Figure 29. It seems that
Mp is related nearly linearly to orientation of principal
stress as following
Mp = C1 C2 sin 0

(15)

When orientation of major principal stress is in vertical, the value of Mp approaches to that obtained from
drained triaxial tests. Parameter f is used to describe
the extent of plastic strain and it is usually no less than
3 and f = 4 is given here.

87

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.4 0.6
sin0

Elasticity
parameter
State
parameter

G0

e
c
d0
M
B1 , B2
f
C1 , C2

65
0.2
0.88
0.81
0.01
1.07
2.8
630, 490
4
1.4, 0.18

800

800

Eq. 10
Eq. 11
Eq.1

160

40

0=90
0

0.2

40

0=90

0.0

(a) Effective stress path

4
g/%

10
g/%

15

20

(b) Stress ratio-strain relationships

(b) Stress-strain relationships

Figure 31. Undrained shear behavior of sands predicted


under different consolidation stress conditions.
160

0.9

120

200
150

q/kPa

1.2

0.6

e=0.70

80

e=0.75
e=0.78
e=0.80

40

0.3

e=0.70
e=0.75

100
e=0.78
50

e=0.80

e=0.82
0

4
g /%

Figure 30. Undrained shear behavior of sands predicted by


the improved constitutive model.

40

80
120
160
p'/kPa
(a) Effective stress paths

e=0.82
0

g/%

(b) Stress-strain relationships

and stress-hardening or softening features of sand


under anisotropic consolidation condition so that it can
well display the influence of the initial anisotropy on
undrained shear behavior of sands.
After shear modulus is defined by above-mentioned
equation, the parameter GN,max can be obtained by
dividing elastic shear modulus by confining pressure.
Then the parameter GN,min can be estimated initially
by a proper reduction of GN,max and then optimized
to match the full stress-strain relations. Under different confining pressure for a given identical relative
density of , and under different relative densities for a
given same confining pressure of , both effective stress
paths and stress-strain relationships are predicted by
the proposed model and are shown in Figure 31 and
Figure 32.

Listed in Table 1 are the values of parameters


obtained from measured data of tests with refereed
formulae.
Experimental verification

For the test cases, the effective stress paths and stressstrain relationships are simulated by the proposed
refined constitutive model with corresponding parameters as shown in Figure 30. It can be seen that
the proposed improved constitutive model can agree
well with the experimental data. The model is capable to reproduce fairly the effect of orientation of
major principal stress on shear- dilation or contraction

88

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 32. Undrained shear behavior of sands predicted


under different initial void ratios.

(c) Stress ratio-strain relationship

7.3

20

p=2000kPa

1.5

0.0

15

0.6

0=60

20 40 60 80 100 120
p'/kPa

10
g/%

p=100kPa

0.8

80

(b) Stress-strain relationships

q/kPa

0=0

q/kPa

q/kPa

80

1.0

0.4

0=0

120

1000 1500 2000


p'/kPa

1.2

0=30
0=45

160

0=30
0=45
0=60

500

(a) Effective stress paths

Eq. 2
Eq. 2
Eq.13
Eq. 4
Eq. 14

200

120

p=2000kPa
p=1000kPa
p=500kPa
p=200kPa
p=100kPa

400

400

Dilatancy
parameters
Stress-strain
relationship
parameter

Refereed
Equation

Value

1200

q/kPa

Parameter

1200

q/kPa

Table 1. The measured parameters of constitutive model.

160

q/kPa

120

=30

2: GN, max =650, G N, min =450


1

80

120

3: GN, max =650, G N, min =300


2

80

2
1: GN, max =800, G N, min =450

40

40

2: GN, max =650, G N, min =450

=30

20

40

3: GN, max =650, G N, min =300

60 80 100 120
p'/kPa

(a) Effective stress paths

0 0
g/%

(b) Stress-strain relationships

Figure 33. Effect of shear modulus parameters GN,max and


GN,min on undrained shear behavior of sands.
160

160
1: m=4, d0=1.07
1: m=2.8, d0=1.07
1: m=2.8, d0=2

80

2
3

40
0

80

1: m=4, d0=1.07
1: m=2.8, d0=1.07
1: m=2.8, d0=2

40

=30

=30
0

120

q/kPa

q/kPa

120

20

40

60

80 100 120

p'/kPa
(a) Effective stress paths

3
4
g /%

(b) Stress-strain relationships

Figure 34. Effect of dilatancy parameters m and d0 on


undrained shear behavior of sands.

the same value of GN,min = 450 while GN,max = 800


and 650, it can be seen that the influence of the parameter GN,max on the mode of both stress paths and
stress-strain relationships although the sand becomes
stiffer in shear rigidity and higher in strength with
increase of GN,max . However, it is observed through
comparison of the cases 2 and 3 with the same value
of GN,max = 650 while GN,min = 450 and 300 that the
influence of shear modulus GN,min is relatively more
appreciate than that of GN,max .

7.4 Effect of the related parameters


7.4.1

Effect of modulus parameters GN,max


and GN,min
As pointed out by Guo (2003), under the condition of
relatively small deformation, orientation of principal
stress does not remarkably influence initial shear modulus. however, it is found by Tong and Zhu (1998)
that initial shear modulus progressively reduces with
increase of orientation angle of major principal stress
with respect to the vertical. Since the initial shear modulus GN,max at small- strain amplitude is approximately
taken as the shear modulus at the strain level of about
0.01% in this paper, GN,max is somewhat dependent on
orientation of principal stress. Three cases with different groups of GN,max and GN,min are considered in
numerical simulations in order to examine the sensitivity of shear behavior on the parameters GN,max and
GN,min . Based on the given values of both parameters,
the main features of undrained shear behavior of sands
can be displayed by the proposed model as shown in
Figure 33. Through comparison of cases 1 and 2 with

7.4.2 Effect of dilatancy parameters m and d0


In order to examine the influence of the dilatancy
parameters m and d0 on undrained shear behavior
of sands, three cases with different values of both
parameters are considered and the predicted effective
stress paths and stress-strain relationships are given in
Figure 34. It can be seen through comparison between
cases 1 and 2 with the same value of d0 = 1.07 while
m = 4 and 2.8 that hardening feature gets stronger
with higher strength with increase of m. On the other
hand, for the cases 2 and 3 with the same value of
m = 2.8 and d0 = 1.07 and d0 = 2, with increase of d0 ,
the sand may undergo both strain-hardening and softening stages through the phase transformation state.
Then strength rises rapidly after a fair shear dilation
stage. Therefore the dilatancy parameters m and d0
should be given carefully in order to describe main
features of undrained shear behavior of sands.

89

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

160

1: GN, max =800, G N, min =450

q/kPa

It is found from Figure 30 that the sand sample


dilates at first and then contracts during undrained
shear. For samples with the same density, the sample
under higher initial confining pressure is at a relatively looser initial state, so it undergoes more amount
of shear contraction while the sample under lower
initial confining pressure is at a relatively denser initial state, so the amount of shear contraction is less.
Figure 31 indicates that except the case of consolidation pressure of p=2000kPa, the samples behave
basically strain-hardening with no obvious softening
observed. Moreover, the samples under the condition
of same initial void ratio finally approach to the same
steady state which is dependent on the initial confining pressures. It is manifested that the improved model
proposed in this paper is capable to reproduce the main
feature of sand behavior in a rather large extent of confining pressure.The sand under low confining pressure
is relatively easy to dilate while the sand under high
confining pressure tends to contract.
Shown in Figure 32 are undrained shear behavior
of sands with different void ratios of e = 0.7, 0.75,
0.78, 0.8, 0.82 respectively under the same confining pressure of pm0 = 100 kPa. It can be observed that
with increase of void ratio, the failure of sand turns
from the mode of partial contraction-partial dilation
progressively into the mode of fully static liquefaction. It agrees with main feature of undrained shear
behavior of loose sands and dense sands. It is also
demonstrated that when the parameters are given properly, the improved constitutive model proposed by this
paper is capable to reasonably simulate shear behavior of sands in a considerable range of initial relative
density or void ratio.

q/kPa

120

120

3: G0=150, =0.2

80

40

1: G0=65, =0.2
1

80

2
3

40

2: G0=65, =0.3
3: G0=150, =0.2

=30
0

20

40

(2) For the given orientation angle of principal stress


and initial relative density as well as coefficient
of intermediate principal stress, the effect of the
initial deviatoric stress ratio of consolidation on
undrained shear behavior is relatively insignificant. The strain-softening and strain-hardening of
sands under different initial consolidation stress
ratio seems to be basically equivalent.
(3) Initial shear stress applied on the plane of dynamic
stress profoundly affects the pattern of stressstrain relationship. Under anisotropic consolidation condition with the orientation angle of initial
principal stress of 0 = 0 or 0 = 90 , no initial
shear stress is imposed on the application plane of
cyclic stress while a certain initial shear stress is
pre-acted on the application plane of cyclic stress
under anisotropic consolidation condition with
0 = 30 , 45 and 60 . The pattern of stress-strain
relationships for two series of anisotropic consolidation conditions is obviously different. For
0 = 0 or 0 = 90 , cyclic effect of shear strain
is obviously more predominate than its accumulative effect and accumulative residual component
of shear strain is relatively small. The shear strain
at failure arises mainly from the axial deformation induced by deviatoric stress. On the other
hand, uni-directional accumulative effect of shear
strain is very considerable and accumulative residual component of shear strain is relatively large
compared with its cyclic component for 0 = 30 ,
45 and 60 . The deformation of sample at failure
is resulted basically from shear deformation. In
addition, such a pattern seems to be independent
on the coefficient of intermediate principal stress.
Therefore it is considered that the effect of initial
shear stress on cyclic shear behavior of sand under
undrained condition cannot be overlooked. Under
the isotropic consolidation condition, the accumulative effect is basically of symmetry and no
unidirectional accumulated strains since no preshearing effect exists. With increase of number
of load cycles, the shear strength against liquefaction or shear failure is reduced while residual
accumulated deformation develops rather rapidly.
The similar characteristics are demonstrated by the
experimental data of the tests conducted for the
calcareous sand of Nansha Islands.
(4) The orientation of initial major principal stress
exhibits a remarkable influence on shear-induced
volumetric- dilative or contractive characteristics
and strain-hardening or softening feature of saturated loose sand subjected to undrained monotonic
or cyclic shear. The strain-hardening or softening
features of loose sand displayed during monotonic shear are closely related to cyclic mobility
or flow-slide deformation features manifested during cyclic shear. When cyclic shear stress level is

160

1: G0=65, =0.2
2: G0=65, =0.3

q/kPa

160

60

80 100 120

p'/kPa
(a) Effective stress paths

=30
0

3
g/%

(b) Stress-strain relationships

Figure 35. Effect of elasticity parameter G0 and on


undrained shear behavior of sands.

7.4.3 Effect of elasticity parameters G0 and


For the given three cases, i.e., (1) G0 = 65, = 0.2; (2)
G0 = 65, = 0.3; (3) G0 = 150, = 0.2; the predicted
shear behavior are compared as depicted in Figure 35.
It appears that the influence of both elasticity parameters G0 and on both strain-gardening or softening
and shear-dilative or contractive feature of undrained
shear behavior of sand is noticeable.

CONCLUSIONS

In this paper, a variety of cyclic shear tests and


monotonic shear tests are conducted under complex
initial stress conditions with different combinations
of the coefficient of intermediate principal stress and
orientation of initial principal stress. Through a comprehensive comparative study of the experimental test
data, the individual or combined effects of the coefficient of intermediate principal stress and orientation of
principal stress on shear behavior are examined. The
conclusions can be summarized as below.
(1) Both effective stress path and stress-strain relationship of sand subjected to monotonic shear
loading are substantially affected by orientation of initial principal stress of consolidation.
When the orientation of major principal stress
approaches to the vertical, loose sand behaves
strain-hardening and shear-dilation. With increase
of the orientation angle of initial principal stress
with respect to the vertical, loose sand displays
complex compound feature including noticeable
strain-softening and accompanied volumetric contraction and then strain-hardening and accompanied volumetric dilatation. When orientation angle
of principal stress is in the vertical, i.e., 0 = 0 ,
pore water pressure at phase-transformation state
can only rise up to 20.9% of the mean confining
pressure while pore water pressure can attain to
61.3% of the mean confining pressure in the case
of 0 = 90 .

90

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

shear behavior of sands. Compared with the conventional state-dependent constitutive model, the
dependency of the orientation of principal stress
on both effective stress paths and stress-strain relationship are taken into consideration in addition to
the combined effect of both initial confining pressure and void ratio. Therefore it is shown that the
improved model proposed in the paper is capable to fairly reproduce full shear behavior of sand
under complex initial stress condition. The effects
of the orientation of principal stress and the coefficient of intermediate principal stress as well as
other related factors on main feature of undrained
shear behavior of sands can be examined.
Although the correlation of undrained shear
behavior of sands between under monotonic and
cyclic shear has been clarified through comparative experimental tests, the elasto-plastic constitutive model is limited for monotonic shear
and an improved constitutive model for cyclic
shear is required for dynamic analyses and
design of seabeds or marine or offshore structural
foundations.

higher than the lowest shear strength in strain- softening stage during monotonic shear, flow-slide
deformation will take place during cyclic shear.
Therefore cyclic stress level of dynamic design
should be not higher than the lowest strength
or quasi-steady-state strength in strain-softening
stage obtained from monotonic shear tests under
the same initial stress condition. In addition,
the occurrence of cyclic mobility and flow-slide
deformation is associated with initial texture of
sand sample in a certain manner.
(5) Under the condition with the same orientation of
major principal stress and coefficient of intermediate principal stress, the effective deviator stress
ratios respectively at phase-transformation state
and at ultimate steady state of sands during monotonic shear are nearly equal to the peak values of
the effective deviator stress ratio at first occurrence of obvious shear dilatation and at ultimate
steady state of sand subjected to cyclic shear.
Therefore for a specified initial state, both the
peak deviatoric stress ratios at steady-state and at
phase-transformation state can be regarded as two
fundamental characteristic parameters for representation of shear behavior of saturated loose sand
under monotonic or/and cyclic shear condition.
(6) Under the condition with the same initial stress
state, the development mode of peak deviatoric
stress ratio in one load cycle with generalized
shear strain is basically close to the variation pattern of deviatoric stress ratio with generalized
shear strain during monotonic shearing. Furthermore, for any initial stress condition, the measured
relationship between deviatoric stress and generalized shear strain can be well represented by a
hardening-type quasi-hyperbolic equation. Such
an empirical relation offers the physical basis
in establishing nonlinear elasto-plastic constitutive relationship of sands. Finally, combined with
the concept of steady state of deformation in
modern critical soil mechanics, a refined nonlinear elasto-plastic constitutive model of sands
is proposed by simultaneously using the statedependent stress-dilatancy equation and empirical
hyperbolic relation between deviatoric stress ratio
and generalized shear strain obtained from experimental data. The model is capable to take both
initial physical state and texture anisotropy into
account mutually. The model has totally 10 parameters including elasticity parameters, dilatancy
parameters, state parameters and quasi-hyperbolic
parameters. All the related parameters can be
determined or calibrated on the basis of experimental data. The performance of the proposed
model together with the related parameters is verified by comparing the shear response predicted by
the proposed model and experimentally-measured

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to express their gratitude to Professor Dahong Qiu of Dalian University of Technology
for his continuing support and invaluable advice for
the investigation. The financial support for this study
through the grant 50579006, 50179006 and 50439010
from National Natural Science Foundation of China is
mostly grateful.
REFERENCES
Been K, Jefferies M G. 1985. A state parameter for sands.
Geotechnique, 35(2):99112
Cubrinovski M, Ishihara K. 1998a. Modelling of sand
behavior based on state concept. Soils and Foundations,
38(3):115127
Cubrinovski M, Ishihara K. 1998b. State concept and modified elastoplasticity for sand modeling. Soils and Foundations, 38(4):213225
Guo Ying. 2003. Experimental studies on undrained cyclic
behavior of loose sands under complex stress conditions
considering static and cyclic coupling effect. Ph.D. Thesis
of Dalian University of Technology (in Chinese)
Hyodo M, Tanimizu H, Yasufuku N. 1994. Murata H.
Undrained cyclic and monotonic triaxial behavior of
saturated loose sand. Soils and Foundations, JSSMFE,
34(1):1932
Ishihara K, Towhata I. 1983. Sand response to cyclic rotation
of principal stress directions as induced by wave loads.
Soils and Foundations, JSSMFE, 23(4):1126
Jefferies M G. 1993. Norsand: a simple critical state model
of sand. Geotechnique, 43(1):91103

91

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Li X S. 1997. Modeling of dilative shear failure. Journal of


Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE,
123(7):609616
Li X S, Ming H Y. 2000. Unified modeling of flow liquefaction and cyclic mobility. Soil Dynamics and Earthquake
Engineering, (19):363369
Li X S, Dafalias Y F. 2000. Dilatancy for cohesionless soils.
Geotechnique, 50(4):449460
Luan M T, Law K T, Lee C F, Zhai Y. 2000. Fundamental
behavior and constitutive modeling of a CDG residual soil
under undrained shear. Journal of Dalian University of
Technology, 40(Suppl):8389
Luo G, Zhang J M. 2004a. Constitutive model for sand
considering the variation of its physical state. Journal of
Hydraulic Engineering of China, (4):2631
Luo G, Zhang J M. 2004b. Six-parameter constitutive model
of sand with physical state changes. J. Tsinghua Univ,
44(3):402405
Madsen O S. 1978. Wave-induced pore pressures and effective stresses in a porous bed. Geotechnique, 28(4):
377393
Nakata Y. 1998. Study on deformation and strength behavior of anisotropic sands considering variation of direction of principal stress. Ph.D Dissertation of Yamaguchi
University, Japan (in Japanese)
Nova R, Wood D M. 1979. A constitutive model for
sand in triaxial compression. International Journal for
Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 3,
255278
Poulos S J. 1981. The steady state of deformation. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, ASCE,
107(GT5):553562

Symes M J, Shibuya S, Hight D W, Gens A. 1985. Liquefaction with cyclic principal stress rotation. Proceedings
of 11th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and
Foundation Engineering, 4:19191922
Tong H W, Zhu B H. 1998. Research on dynamic modulus and
damping ratio of inherent anisotropic loess. Proceedings
of the 7th National Conference on Soil Dynamics, Dalian,
105108
Uthayakumar M, Vaid Y P. 1998. Static liquefaction of
sands under multiaxial loading. Canadian Geotechanical
Journal, 35:273283
Wood M D, Belkheir K, Liu D F. 1994. Strain softening
and state parameter for sand modeling. Geotechnique,
44(2):335339.
Yamada Y, Ishihara K. 1981. Undrained deformation
chracteristics of loose sand under three-dimensional
stress conditions. Soil and Foundations, JSSMFE, 21(1):
97107.
Yoshimine M, Ishihara K, Matsuzaki H. 1995. Effect of
anisotropy on undrained monotonic shear behavior of
undisturbed sands. http://geot.civil.metro-u.ac.jp/my/
publications/jsce95.pdf.
Yoshimine M. 1999. Undrained shear behavior of sands
under various stress and strain conditions. http: //geot.
civil.metro-u.ac.jp/my/publications/jgs-symposium 99/
jgs-symposium99.htm
Yoshimine M, Ishihara K, Vargas W. 1998. Effects of principal stress direction and intermediate principal stress on
undrained shear behavior of sand. Soils and Foundations,
JGS, 38(3):179188
Yoshimine M, Ishihara K. 1998. Flow potential of sand during
liquefaction. Soils and Foundations, JGS, 38(3):189198

92

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Embankment and dams

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Sensitivity analysis of magnetic extensometers for measuring vertical


movement of earth dams on soft soils
Reza Jamshidi Chenari
Persesanco Co., Tehran, Iran

ABSTRACT: Actual field conditions may vary markedly from those assumed in the design. The soil engineers
frequently can compensate for these differences by altering the design, changing the time required, etc., if
the actual field performance of the earth project is measured. In order to measure the settlement in soft soil
foundations, a specific type of instrument, namely magnetic probe extensometer is fixed in position into a
borehole backfilled with grout. In many situations, instrument observations may just reflect unstable backfill,
lack of backfill or backfill that is too stiff or too soft. A two dimensional finite element model, with an idealized
elastic-perfectly plastic interaction between the soil-mass and grout has provided insight into the behaviour and
interaction of the components. These extended finite element analyses of grout-soil mass composites revealed
that there is an optimum grout stiffness to minimize the measurement errors for a soft to medium soil.

INTRODUCTION

will be based on judgment in selecting the most probable values within the ranges of possible values for
engineering properties. As construction progresses
and geotechnical conditions are observed or behavior monitored, the design judgments can be evaluated
and, if necessary, updated. Thus, engineering observations during geotechnical construction are often an
integral part of the design process, and geotechnical
instrumentation is a tool to assist with this observation.
The behavior of embankments on soft ground tends
to be dominated by the properties of the soft ground.
A potential circular failure surface may develop, with
a large portion of the surface in the weak foundation
material as shown in Figure 1a. However, the loading
of the embankment may cause settlement and lateral
bulging of the foundation, as shown in Figure 1b, long
before the rotation failure occurs. The lateral bulging
of the soft ground transfers horizontal tension to the
embankment, which may experience tension cracking,
since it is less deformable than the soft foundation.
Many river sediments consist of soft ground, and a
dam constructed over these materials may behave as
shown in Figure 1.
Even if the design of the dam is adequate, the weight
of the embankment dam on the underlying soil or rock
must be considered. Heavily loaded soil under the dam
may settle, and there will be downward and lateral
movements of the base of the dam. Moreover, even
well-compacted fill material will experience settlements when loaded with overlying material, and poor
compaction procedures will result in greater settlements. If the crest of the dam is initially level, with

The term geotechnical construction can be used for


structures requiring consideration of the engineering
properties of soil or rock. In the design of a surface
facility, the ability of the ground to support the structure must be considered. In the design of a subsurface
facility, consideration must also be given to the ability of the ground to support itself or to be supported
by other means. In both cases, the engineering properties of the soil or rock are the factors of interest.
The designer of geotechnical construction works with
a wide variety of naturally occurring heterogeneous
materials, which may be altered to make them more
suitable, but exact numerical values of their engineering properties cannot be assigned. Laboratory or field
tests may be performed on selected samples to obtain
values for engineering properties, but these tests will
only provide a range of possible values.
The significance of these statements about geotechnical construction can be demonstrated by comparison
with steel construction. A designer of a steel structure
works with manufactured material. The materials are
specified, their manufacture is controlled, and fairly
exact numerical values of engineering properties are
available for design. An accurate analysis can be made
and design plans and specifications prepared. Then,
provided construction is in accordance with those
plans, the structure will perform as designed. There
will generally be no need to monitor field performance. Similar remarks apply to reinforced concrete.
In contrast, the design of geotechnical construction

95

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

The pipe may be vertical, providing measurement of


settlement or heave, may be horizontal, providing lateral deformation measurements, or may be inclined.
Typical applications of probe extensometers are monitoring vertical compression within embankments or
embankment foundations, settlement alongside excavations, heave at the base of open cut excavations,
and lateral deformation of embankments. Various
mechanical and electrical probe extensometers are
available and comparative information is given elsewhere (Dunnicliff 1993). The preferred method of
installation and the borehole diameter depends mainly
on the predicted vertical compression, the stratigraphy,
other site-specific conditions and needs, instrument
availability, and experience of installation personnel
(Dunnicliff 1993).
2.1

Figure 1. Behavior of an embankment on soft ground:


(a) rotational slide along arc and (b) settlement and lateral
bulging of soft foundation.

Magnetic probe extensometer is based on British


Building Research technique (Marsland 1974). It consists of an access tube with a corrugated external
sheath installed vertically or horizontally. Magnetic
targets are fixed in the ground where movement is to
be monitored. The access tube passes through the
target rings. The target rings move together with surrounding soil movement along the axis of the tube.
A probe lowered through the tube detects the position
of the magnetic target rings. Comparison of surveys
taken over time provides profiles of ground settlement
or displacement. A schematic of a borehole installation
is shown in Figure 3.
Magnetic target rings have either springs or plate
anchor. Spring targets are suitable for borehole application and plate targets for embankments. A suspension head fitted to the column top supports the
magnetic detector probe during surveys. The bottom
end of the column is fitted with a telescopic system
to allow the extension of the access tube. It shall then
be lowered together with all magnets and necessary
accessories fixed in position into a 100 mm borehole
preferably backfilled with a bentonite: cement grout
(ASCE 2000)

Figure 2. Transverse cracking of an embankment.

time it will settle, and the centre of the dam will settle
the most. If the abutments are steep, the settlements
may put the crest of the dam in tension, as shown in
Figure 2, possibly causing cracks transverse to the axis
of the dam.
2

Magnetic probe extensometer

PROBE EXTENSOMETER
3

Probe extensometers are devices for monitoring the


changing distance between two or more points along
a common axis, by passing a probe through a pipe
(Dunnicliff 1993). Measuring points along the pipe are
identified mechanically or electrically by the probe,
and the distance between points is determined by
measurements of probe position. For determination
of absolute deformation data, either one measuring
point must be at a location not subject to deformation or its position with respect to a reference
datum must be determined by surveying methods.

The backfill for a borehole instrument is often an


item that receives a disproportionate lack of attention (Mikkelsen 2002). The major cause of concern
about such instrument is the deviation of results from
the real values arisen of improper filling around the
tubes during installation. The behaviour of the backfill, the material that is in the most intimate contact
with both the formation and the instrument, is critical for obtaining correct measurements. Clearly, if
the backfill is deficient in providing intimate, stable

96

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

BACKFILLING OF BOREHOLES

3.1 Selection of backfill materials


Alternative backfill materials for boreholes include
grout, granular fills such as sand and pea gravel, and
bentonite pellets (Dunnicliff 1993). Use of sand or pea
gravel backfill is limited to downward boreholes, and
the borehole diameter should be large enough to discourage bridging, generally 2 in. (50mm) larger than
the outside diameter of the downhole components.
Rounded grains are less likely to bridge than angular grains. Sand, gravel and various bentonite products
have proven to be both too difficult to place and often
entirely inappropriate (Mikkelsen 2002). Experience
has shown that cement-bentonite grout is the most
universally applicable material for successfully backfilling a borehole instrument (Mikkelsen 2002). Grout
backfill is more likely than granular backfill to fill
the borehole completely but cannot be used if grout
would bleed into the surrounding ground (Dunnicliff
1993).
Single-component bentonite grouts have been used
in related industries a long time, and have been
adopted for borehole instrumentation with mixed success. Their uses are more involved and should be
avoided. The use of fly ash as a substitute for cement
promises to be a good way for reducing grout stiffness
when required (Mikkelsen 2002).

3.2 Backfilling borehole with grout


When selecting a mix for grout backfill, the first task
is to define the required engineering properties. As a
goal, the grout should ensure conformance between
the instrument and the surrounding soil or rock and
should not alter the value of the parameter being measured (Dunnicliff 1993). When probe extensometers
rely on grout to ensure conformance, the grout should
satisfy criteria for compressibility and shear strength.
Grout for fixed borehole extensometers in soft ground
should not have significant compressive or tensile
strength. Grout for inclinometer casing should satisfy
criteria for maximum and minimum strength. For these
reasons there is no universally suitable grout, and each
installation must be considered individually.
Little is known on the subject of grouting around
instruments in boreholes, presumably because this use
of grout represents such a tiny proportion of overall grout use (Dunnicliff 1993). Even if the perfect
grout mix can be determined, it probably will not
set as a uniform column throughout the borehole.
These realizations should color our reliance on grout
where properties and uniformity are critical. For example when a probe extensometer is to be installed to
monitor substantial vertical compression, reliance on
grout may be unwarranted, and conformance should
be ensured by using a positive anchorage at each
measuring point (Dunnicliff 1993).

Figure 3. Probe Extensometer Installation Fixed in Stable Ground (Courtesy of Soil Instruments Ltd., Uckfield,
England).

contact between the instrumented formation/fill and


the access casing, then disturbed measurements would
result (Mikkelsen 2004). In many situations, instrument observations may just reflect unstable backfill,
lack of backfill or backfill that is too stiff or too soft.

97

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

3.3

Bentonite-cement grout

A bentonite grout backfill consisting of just bentonite


and water may not be volumetrically stable and introduces uncertainty about locally introduced pore water
pressures caused by the hydration process (Mikkelsen
2002). Introducing cement, even a small amount,
reduces the expansive properties of the bentonite component once the cement-bentonite grout takes an initial
set. The strength of the set grout can be designed to
be similar to the surrounding ground by controlling
the cement content and adjusting the mix proportions.
Controlling the compressibility (modulus) and the permeability is not so easy. Weaker cementitious grouts
tend to remain much stiffer than normally consolidated
clays of similar strengths. The use of fly ash as a substitute for cement promises to be a good way for reducing
grout stiffness when required. The bentonite solids
content has the greatest influence on the permeability
of cement-bentonite grout, not the cement content.
Cement-bentonite grouts are easier to use than bentonite grouts, provide a long working time before set
and are more forgiving should the user deviate from
the design recipe or mixing equipment and method
(Mikkelsen 2002). It is easier to adjust the grout mix
for variations in temperature, pH and cleanliness of
the water. Pure bentonite grouts must be mixed and
deployed by strictly following measured quantities
and procedures that are not common practice among
drillers doing test borings.

Figure 4. 28-Day Cement-Bentonite Grout Strength vs.


Water-Cement Ratio (after Mikkelsen, 2002).

fell into the range expected for clays, which shows


that addition of bentonite to cement does result in a
clay-like substance. This soil-like consistency allows
cement-bentonite grouts to be directly compared to
other earthen materials. The average E/Su ratio, calculated with tangent modulus, was 785 and ranged
from 67 to 826. The expected E/Su ratio falls between
l00 and 500 for clays, and 200 and 500 for sedimentary rock.
The general rule for grouting any kind of instrument
in a borehole is that the proportions of the mix shall
be such as to imitate as closely as possible the strength
or consistency of the natural subsoil present (Gue and
Partners 2001). However, while it is feasible to match
strengths, it is unfeasible with the same mix design to
match the deformation modulus of cement-bentonite
to that of clay for example. The practical thing to do
is to approximate the strength and minimize the area
of the grouted annulus. In this way the grout column
would only contribute a weak force in the situation
where it might be an issue (Mikkelsen 2002).
Strength data collected informally from various
sources by Mikkelsen (2002) over the years are summarized in Figure 4. A trend line drawn through the
data points illustrates the decrease in strength with
increasing water-cement ratio. The water-cement ratio
controls the strength of the set grout. The bentonite
does not add significant strength to the grout. The
background data for Figure 4 also suggests the amount
and type of bentonite or hydrated lime does not influence strength as long as the grout is non-bleeding and
pumpable.
Strength is often used to characterize a grout for
deformation-type instruments, but modulus of deformation should ideally be the basis for judging compatibility with ground conditions (Mikkelsen 2002).
The grout column in a borehole will carry a total axial
force smaller or greater than the material it replaced,
according to its stiffness. When there is too much stiffness or force, displacements will be diminished and

3.3.1 Strength and deformation


Marslands rule-of-thumb is to make the 7-day strength
of the grout to match one quarter that of the surrounding soil (Marsland 1973). Water and cement in
proportions greater than about 0.7 to 1.0 by weight
will segregate without the addition of bentonite or
some other type of filler material (clay or lime) to
suspend the cement uniformly. In all cases sufficient
filler is added to suspend the cement and to provide a
thick-creamy-but-pumpable grout consistency.
Will (1997) showed that the unconfined compressive strength is directly related to the cement content
and w/c ratio when the bentonite content remains
relatively fixed (between 1.8 and 6.9%).A best-fit relationship for 28-day strength as a function of w/c ratio
for the combined data of this and Aymard (1996)s
study follows a power law, which is consistent with
findings in the literature. To achieve 3-day compressive strengths in the range of 50 to 200-psi with
bentonite content between 1.8 and 6.9%, the w/c ratio
should lie between 1 and 2. Strength gains from 3 to
28 days shows an average strength increase factor of
3.2, ranging from 2.1 to 4.6. To reach strengths of 50
to 200-psi at 28 days, instead of 3 days, the w/c ratio
would have to be decreased by a factor of 1 to 2.
Values for Youngs tangent modulus measured by
Will (1997) ranged from 0.2 to 69-ksi. All values

98

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.
2002).

axial measurements can be less than displacements of


the surrounding ground. More care should be taken in
making a grout for axial borehole deformation measurements than for lateral deformation measurements
(Mikkelsen 2002). Most of the design and installation
challenge lies with deformation measurements in the
axial direction of the borehole where large volumes
of grout backfill must be placed. So, for settlement
measurement, it is better to err on the softer side of
the spectrum (Mikkelsen 2002). Lateral displacements
of an inclinometer casing are generally unaffected by
added grout stiffness. Where the grout column is too
stiff the displacements will be distributed over a greater
depth interval, but not be diminished in overall magnitude. The same is probably true if the grout is too soft,
but there is the additional concern for lack of lateral
confinement. Since inclinometer casings generally are
under compression, lack of backfill or confinement
can produce localized shifts in the borehole, masking
smaller actual displacements. So, for inclinometers,
it is better to err on the stiffer side of the spectrum
(Mikkelsen 2002).

Application

Grout for Medium


to Hard Soils1

Grout for Soft Soils2

Ratio by
Weight Weight

Materials

Weight

Water

30
2.5
gallons
94 lbs.
1
(1 sack)
25 lbs.
0.3
(as required)

Portland
Cement
Bentonite

Ratio by
Weight

75
6.6
gallons
94 lbs.
1
(1 sack)
39 lbs.
0.4
(as required)

1
The 28-day compressive strength of this mix is about 50 psi,
similar to very stiff to hard clay. The modulus is about
10,000 psi.
2
The 28-day strength of this mix is about 4 psi, similar to very
soft clay.

controlling the water-cement ratio. This is accomplished by mixing the cement with the water first.
When water and cement are mixed first, the watercement ratio stays fixed and the strength/modulus of
the set grout is more predictable. If bentonite slurry
is mixed first, the water-cement ratio cannot be controlled because the addition of cement must stop
when the slurry thickens to a consistency that is still
pumpable. Making cement-bentonite grout in the field
is a straightforward process. The most effective mixing is done in a barrel or tub with the drill-rig pump,
circulating the batch through the pump in 50 to 200
gallon quantities. The rig pump provides the kind of
jet-mixing required for getting the job done quickly.
Any kind of bentonite powder used to make drilling
mud combined with Type 1 Portland cement and water
can be used, but the appropriate quantity of bentonite will vary somewhat depending on grade of
bentonite, mixing sequence, mixing effort (agitation),
water pH and temperature (Mikkelsen 2002). Grout
mixes should be controlled by weight and proportioned
to give the desired strength of the set grout. The conversion factors contained in Appendix H.10 in Dunnicliff
(1988, 1993) are very helpful in mix design. Two mixes
are given in Table 1 that varies in 28-day strength from
50 psi to 4 psi for water-cement ratios of 2.5 to 6.6
respectively.
The amount of bentonite that is required for the
above mixing procedure would vary due to factors
mentioned earlier. The amount of bentonite shown in
Table 1 should only be used as a guide, but is also
handy for estimating material quantities to be shipped
to the site. With water and cement mixed first, more
bentonite is required than if water and bentonite were
mixed first. This is an advantage from the standpoint
of wanting a low permeability. When the bentonite
solids content increases, the density increases and the

3.3.2 Mix design rules


Some typical mixes are given in literature, but it is
emphasized that they should not be used as a cook
book. Trial mixes should be made for each application and judgment often made by visual observation
and supplemented with simple tests such as pressing
with a thumb or use of a Trovance (Dunnicliff 1993).
Where a more exact measurement of grout properties is
required, laboratory tests of trial mixes will be needed.
The properties of grout are often dependent on
the sequence of adding ingredients, and the sequence
should be standardized. As a general rule, liquids
should be mixed first, followed by the finest through
the coarsest materials. When using cement/bentonite
grout, bentonite should be added to the water first,
because if bentonite is added to a cement and water mix
an ion exchange takes place and the expansion of the
bentonite is reduced significantly. Properties are often
also dependent on the chemical constituents of the
mixing water, and water for trial mixes should be from
the same source as the field mix (Dunnicliff 1993).
Field mixing was simulated by Will (1997) to
determine the effects of bentonite prehydration and
slurry mixing time on grout properties. The closest
match to the 3-day strengths obtained by lab mixing
occurred when the bentonite was fully prehydrated
and the slurry was mixed for 30 minutes. With this
procedure, unconfined compressive strengths reached
56-psi compared to an average compressive strength
of 53-psi determined in the lab.
In contrary to the procedures used at more sophisticated grout plants for compaction grouting and sealing
purposes, Mikkelsen (2002) believes that to keep
field procedures simple the emphasis should be on

99

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Cement-bentonite grout mixes (after Mikkelsen

permeability is lowered. A lower permeability is generally preferred since cement-bentonite grouts have a
higher permeability than high-density bentonite grout
or chip seals. Thus, it is another good reason for mixing
water and cement before adding bentonite.
Old habits die hard, so that some users will insist on
mixing water and bentonite powder first. This is normally the way drilling mud is mixed and it yields more
slurry per sack of bentonite than the above method.
Also, use of hydrated bentonite with cement added last
is common practice in grouting technology for ground
improvement. Such mixes are highly thixotropic and
rely on industrial type mixing plants and methods. The
cement content is difficult to control under ordinary
borehole installation circumstances.

2D AXISYMMETRIC NUMERICAL
ANALYSIS

The displacement response of a series of spider magnet embedded in a grout column surrounded by clay
materials is investigated for loading in vertical direction using PLAXIS finite element code. PLAXIS is
used to create and to execute a finite element analysis
of the grout-soil composite. The settlement column
is embedded into a soil cylinder with the length of
8 m and radius of 4 m. The automatic mesh generation procedure in PLAXIS allows for local refinement
and generation of the mesh, in two dimensions, relative ease. The two-dimensional mesh consists of
fifteen-noded, triangular material elements and fivenoded, zero-thickness, interface elements. Interface
elements have no thickness, but have shear stiffness
and strength properties that can be specified separately
from the material elements. The settlement column
modeled as a concrete pile is 0.15 m in diameter, 8 m
in length and is embedded in a homogeneous clay
layer. PLAXIS 2D offers a variety of material models. The Mohr-Coulomb material model which allows
for plastic deformation after meeting the failure criteria (strength) is used for elements of intervening
fill, which employs a linearly elastic-perfectly plastic
stress-strain response while the elements within grout
column are considered linearly elastic. The model
geometry only consists of half of the actual geometry due to model axial symmetry. The roller boundary
conditions are applied on all sides of the axisymmetric
block. The PLAXIS model is shown in Figure 5. Properties of the clay materials are summarized in Table 2.
Mohr-Coulomb material parameters that are variable in this analysis are the modulus of elasticity (E),
the cohesion (C) of the clay material and the Poissons
ratio (). Parameter that remain constant is the friction angle ( = 0 ). The soil strengths represented: (1)
a soft to medium clay [C = 25 kPa], (2) a medium to
stiff clay [C = 50 kPa], and (3) stiff clay [C = 100 kPa].

Figure 5. The geometry of PLAXIS model utilized in


different analyses.
Table 2. Material properties of different clay material used
in simulations (assuming E/C = 500).
Medium
to Stiff Clay
C = 50 kPa

Stiff
Clay
C = 100 kPa

Parameters

Elasticity
modulus,
E (MPa)

Poissons
Ratio,

Density,
(kg/m3)

12.5
25.0
50.0

0.38
0.36
0.35

1800
1800
1800

Different grout stiffnesses are employed for soft to


medium, medium to stiff and stiff clays. For a given soil
strength and modulus of elasticity, incremental relative
values of grout stiffness are varied from 0.25 to 12 in

100

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soil

Soft to
Medium Clay
C = 25 kPa

Table 3.

Ratio of / (after Potyondy, 1961).

Soil Type

Steel

Wood

Concrete

Sand
Silt & Clay

/ = 0.54
/ = 0.54

/ = 0.76
/ = 0.55

/ = 0.76
/ = 0.50

Figure 6. Mean Relative Error of Magnetic Probe Extensometer measurements versus relative stiffness for different
soil-grout interface properties. Constant parameters include:
all soil parameters (soft to medium clay) and grout Poisson
ratio ( = 0.35).

the composite model. Elastic material parameter of


grout that is variable in this analysis is the modulus of
elasticity (E). Parameter that remains constant is the
Poissons ratio ( = 0.35).
PLAXIS employs a multiplier coefficient Rinter
to assign the strength and stiffness of the interface
elements. The cohesion of the interface element is
assigned as a fraction of the cohesion of the surrounding soil, therefore the interface cohesion is equal
to Rinter times the soil cohesion (Cinter = Rinter *Csoil ).
Similarly, the shear modulus of the interface elements
(Ginter ) are equal to the shear modulus of the soil (Gsoil )
times Rinter squared (Ginter = (R2inter ) * Gsoil ).
The strength and stiffness for the interface between
the borehole grout cylinder and surrounding soils were
specified as a fraction of the soil properties. For example, the interface strength is assigned a value that is
0.66 times the soil strength. This fraction was held
constant for all analyses. Further parametric analysis
shows that the resulting slipping (relative movement
parallel to the interface) is significantly affected by
varying the interface strength and stiffness between
the grout and the soil from these values (see Figure 6).
In general, for real soil-structure interaction the
interface is weaker and more flexible than the associated soil layer, which means that the value of Rinter is
less than one. Suitable values for Rinter for the case of
the interaction between various types of soil and structures in the soil can be found in the literature (Potyondy
1961). Table 3 shows the smallest ratios between and
determined in an extensive series of tests. Assuming
/ = 0.50 from the table for interface between soft
clay and plastic concrete yields Rinter <0.5.
In the absence of detailed information it may be
assumed that Rinter is of the order or 2/3 for a sandsteel contact and of the order of 1/2 for clay-steel

Figure 7. Vertical displacement for soft to medium clay and


stiff Grout.

contact, whereas the interaction with rough concrete


usually gives a somewhat higher value. A value of
Rinter greater than one would not normally be used
(Plaxis, 1998).
After the model is brought to an equilibrium state
under the initial stresses, top of the model has been
subjected to a vertical stress of 1MPa. Figure 7 shows
the vertical displacement shadings in axisymmetric
model. The wide range of color spectrum and difference between measured and free-field settlement
indicates that the grout column as an inclusion in
embankments foundation significantly affects the displacement measured by magnet probe extensometers.
Vertical displacement is of major concern in this
study so a number of control points are specified
to track these important variables in the regions of
interest. Seven points in different depth of the grout
column representing the magnetic probe extensometer
measurement are monitored during the model execution. Mean Average Error (MAE) is the main criterion
employed to evaluate the performance of different

101

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 8. Mean Relative Error of Magnetic Probe Extensometer Measurements versus Relative Stiffness for Different
Clays. Constant parameters include: grout Poisson ratio
( = 0.35) and grout-soil interface properties (Rinter = 0.66).

Figure 9. Mean Relative Error of Magnetic Probe Extensometer measurements versus relative stiffness for different
outer sheath conditions. Constant parameters include: all soil
parameters, grout Poisson ratio ( = 0.35), and soil-grout
interface properties (Rinter = 0.66).

models of grout columns surrounded by different


clay materials explained in preceding sections. Figure 8 shows the sensitivity of magnetic extensometer
measurements to the relative stiffness of grout and
intervening fill.
Different tube assemblies employed to investigate
the effect of outer sheath in measurements of vertical
displacement installing magnetic probe extensometer.
The outer sheath can be of either plain tube with flush
or telescopic coupling with different strain allowance
and greased or non greased skin or plain tube with
flush coupling and corrugated outer sheath with trivial axial stiffness. Figure 9 indicates that axial stiffness
of outer sheath emerges to be of paramount importance in measuring vertical displacement in probe
extensometer. Also greasing has a significant contribution on improving the accuracy of measurements.

Deviation of observed Magnetic Probe Extensometer


measurements in the foundation of embankments on
soft clay to what is expected, led to two dimensional
finite element analyses in order to determine the optimum grout mix to minimize these deviations. A two
dimensional finite element model, with an idealized
elastic-perfectly plastic interaction between the soilmass and grout has provided insight into the behaviour
and interaction of the components. The two dimensional model involved two different material types
(grout and soil), and two interfaces (grout-soil and
grout-tube). One hole size (similar in diameter for a
slope inclinometer), and three soil types are investigated. The model is loaded by a prescribed overburden
pressure on top. Grout stiffness is varied in order to
find out a grout which is sufficiently compliant to
imitate the behaviour of surrounding soil. This process and the associated sensitivity studies required
some 120 finite element model runs of the grout-soil
interaction. These extended finite element analyses
of grout-soil mass composites resulted the following
conclusions.
1) There is an optimum grout stiffness to minimize
the measurement errors for a given soil properties.
2) Magnetic probe extensometer declines as a result of
a material condition: the grout is stronger (stiffer)
than the surrounding soil, which prevents the soil
from adequately compressing the composite.
3) A ratio of grout stiffness to soil stiffness of less
than one will provide optimal conditions to avoid
smearing the slip surface in soft to medium and
medium to stiff soils.
4) Stiff clay is minimally affected by varying the
grout stiffness and is strong enough so as to compress the grout column. For all cases of varying
grout stiffness the measurement error remained
less than 10%.
5) Axial stiffness of outer sheath emerges to be
of paramount importance in measuring vertical
displacement in probe extensometer.
6) Greasing has a significant contribution on improving the accuracy of measurements.
7) Telescopic couplings which permit vertical and lateral movements of the inclinometer borehole are
recommended to be used for soft sub-soils when
installing combined inclinometer and probe extensometer as the use of corrugated outer sheath is not
possible in this case.
REFERENCES
ASCE (2000). Guidelines for Instrumentation and Measurements for Monitoring Dam Performance. American
Society of Civil Engineers, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, Virginia 201914400.

102

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSION

Aymard, N. (1996). Low Strength Grouts for Embedding


TDR Cables in Soil, M.S Thesis, Department of Civil
and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL USA, December.
GUE & PARTNERS SDN BHD, (2001), Specification for
Instrumentation and Monitoring of Embankments.
Marsland, A. (1973), Discussion, Principles of Measurement, in Field Instrumentation in Geotechnical Engineering, British Geotechnical Society, Halsted Press, a
Division of John Wiley, pp. 531532.
Marsland, A. (1974), New Multipoint Magnetic Settlement
System,, in proceeding of the symposium on Field Instrumentation in Geotechnical Engineering, British Geotechnical Society, Butterworths, London, PP. 587589.

Mikkelsen, P.E. (2002). Cement-Bentonite Grout Backfill


for Borehole Instruments. Geotechnical News, Vol. 20,
No. 4, December: 3842.
Mikkelsen, P.E. (2004), Personal Communications.
Plaxis 2D, B.V. Users Manual-Version 7.2, (1998), TERRATEC, Inc.
Potyondy, J. G. (1961), Skin Friction between Various Soil
and Construction Materials, Geotechnique, Vol XI, No. 4,
pp 339353.
Will, D. (1997), Cement Bentonite Grouts Compatible
with Compliant TDR Cables, M.S Thesis, Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern
University, Evanston, IL, USA.

103

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Building an embankment with simultaneous vacuum loading


B.T. Wang
College of Civil Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, P. R. China

K.T. Law
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

ABSTRACT: A highway embankment over soft soils has been successfully constructed with the help of simultaneous application of vacuum loading. This method enables a short construction time and little post-construction
settlements. This paper describes a case study using this method of construction. Extensive laboratory tests have
been conducted before and after construction. Field testing and monitoring have also been made to help understand the performance of the foundation soils involved in this method of construction. The study shows that
(1) the installation of the prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) disturbed the soil and reduced its strength; (2) the
observed settlement is larger and faster than the estimated; (3) the vacuum load generated an inward horizontal
movement indicative of the increase in horizontal effective stress which in turn increased the soil strength quite
rapidly and (4) there would be little post-construction settlement resulting from additional load due to surface
paving and live traffic load.

INTRODUCTION

Construction of embankments on soft soils requires


the consideration of stability and settlement. In many
cases, the subsoils are either so weak or compressible
that some form of strengthening is needed. There are
many ways to strengthen soft soils. Vacuum preloading
has been used extensively in many parts of the world
to speedily strengthen or stiffen soft soils for support
of loads.
Vacuum preloading was first put forward as
a method to strengthen soft foundations in 1952
(Kjellman 1952). This method has been increasingly
used since 1980s as a result of improved membrane
material and pumping machines. The area of a membrane can now reach 3,000 m2 used in association
with a group of pumps (Ye 1983, Choa 1989, Shang
1988). The use of jet pumps makes it possible to
maintain a vacuum at or slightly higher than 80 kPa
during the pumping period. Recently, vacuum preloading is applied simultaneously with the construction of
embankments, further enhancing the usefulness of this
method in strengthening the soft soils and expediting
the construction process. In this way the vacuum in fact
is no longer a preload but part of the load during construction. While the vacuum is maintained, additional
fill might be added to compensate the settlement of
the fill that has occurred to meet the required final
embankment height. When the settlement has reached

the desired value, the vacuum can be released, leaving


the soil in a lightly over-consolidated state. Further
loading due to paving the road surface and live traffic
load will then occur in the over-consolidated state and
therefore will introduce little additional settlement.
Prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) are used in this
method to transfer the vacuum to the subsoils and to
provide a shorter drainage path. Hence the consolidation process is accelerated, leading to a rapid increase
in the subsoil strength and a short duration for the
completion of primary consolidation is completed. As
soon as the vacuum is applied, there is an increase
in effective stress in the subsoil accompanied by an
almost immediate increase in the subsoil strength. This
will permit the placement of the initial embankment
to a substantial or even to the design height. The subsequent additional fill to compensate settlement can
be placed within a short time due to the accelerated
consolidation.
This new method has been used extensively in China
since 1990s, particularly in the eastern and southern provinces, because of numerous major expressway
constructions over soft soils (Liu et al. 1999). This
paper describes a case study for applying this method
in building an approach fill embankment for NingJing-Yan Expressway in Jiangsu, China. Extensive
laboratory testing as well as field testing and monitoring have been conducted to assess the performance
of this construction method.

105

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

Engineering Characteristics of Subsoils before and after vacuum loading.


Coef. of comp
(MPa1 )

Depth (m)

Water content (%)

Dry density (g/cm3)

Void ratio

4.04.3
5.05.3
6.06.3
9.09.2
11.511.7
13.413.6
16.316.5
18.018.2
19.219.4
21.321.5
23.423.6
25.425.6
Average
Average change
27.527.7
29.329.5
31.331.5
35.535.7
37.337.5
Average
Average change

38.8
39.7
35.4
27.2
27.7
25.3
30.8
30.7
31.9
34.7
33.2
35.3
32.2
8.4%
36.0
34.1
32.0
22.9
21.3
29.7
2.7%

28.5
32.7
31.3
28.0
26.0
24.6
30.1
27.5
27.6
28.4
32.3
34.7
29.5

1.32
1.29
1.39
1.57
1.56
1.62
1.48
1.48
1.46
1.42
1.43
1.39
1.45
+4.8%
1.38
1.40
1.44
1.67
1.64
1.50
+2.0%

1.49
1.45
1.46
1.56
1.63
1.68
1.52
1.50
1.55
1.53
1.46
1.42
1.52

1.063
1.100
0.952
0.774
0.772
0.667
0.830
0.819
0.855
0.897
0.876
0.935
0.869
9.0%
0.970
0.919
0.897
0.631
0.623
0.819
3.9%

0.800
0.859
0.856
0.727
0.664
0.619
0.804
0.802
0.733
0.770
0.860
0.904
0.791

0.87
0.88
0.64
0.34
0.35
0.23
0.23
0.22
0.27
0.31
0.36
0.40
0.44
38.6%
0.39
0.39
0.25
0.20
0.24
0.30
13.0%

0.30
0.28
0.38
0.31
0.26
0.16
0.18
0.16
0.19
0.18
0.27
0.32
0.27

34.8
31.7
31.4
22.6
21.5
28.9

1.41
1.49
1.46
1.67
1.65
1.53

0.960
0.758
0.889
0.629
0.616
0.787

0.34
0.31
0.21
0.18
0.23
0.26

Sec. com. Index

0.021
0.016
0.010
0.009
0.012
0.014
0.016
0.020
0.010

Note: A = before construction B = after construction (vacuum released).

SITE CONDITIONS

According to site investigation, the compressible subsoils at the site is at least 40 m thick (maximum depth
of boreholes) and consist mainly of clay layers and
silty sand layers. The detailed subsoil profiles can be
divided into six main layers as given in Table 1 and
summarized in the following:
The top soil layer is clayey soil with low liquid
limit and with a thickness varying from 1.3 m to
3.2 m. Layers of silty sand and sand lenses are found
embedded in this top layer which has a water content ranging from 26% to 36%, an average void ratio
0.85, and an average coefficient of compressibility
0.38 MPa-1.
The second layer is soft clay with a thickness of
about 6 m. The average water content is 37% with
a maximum of 52%. Its average void ratio is 1.1,
reaching a maximum of 1.55. The coefficient of compressibility varies from 0.6 MPa1 to 0.9 MPa1 and
the consolidation coefficient from 5.7 104 cm2 /s to
1.3 103 cm2 /s. This layer is the most compressible
layer of the subsoils at this site.
The third layer is clay with low liquid limit with a
thickness ranging from 6 m to 8 m. The water content varies from 28% to 35%, the void ratio from
0.68 to 0.82, the coefficient of compressibility from
0.26 MPa1 to 0.35 MPa-1 , and the consolidation coefficient from 1.5 103 cm2 /s to 6.0 103 cm2 /s.

There are thin silty sand layers or lenses in this clay


layer.
The fourth layer is silty sand with a thickness ranging from 7 m to 12 m. The water content ranges mostly
from 27% to 35% with a maximum of 41.5%. The
void ratio ranges from 0.75 to 0.90, the coefficient of
compressibility from 0.22 MPa1 to 0.36 MPa1 , and
the consolidation coefficient from 7.8 103 cm2 /s
to 3.5 102 cm2 /s. There are thin clay layers in this
layer.
The fifth layer is lean clay with a thickness ranging
from 3.4 m to 8.3 m. The water content varies from
21% to 38.5%, the void ratio from 0.6 to 1.0, and
the coefficient of compressibility from 0.2 MPa1 to
0.44 MPa1 .
The sixth layer is silty sand of a thickness exceeding 10 m as the borehole stopped at 40 m in depth in
this layer. The water content ranges from 23% to 30%,
the void ratio from 0.60 to 0.90, the coefficient of
compressibility from 0.20 MPa1 to 0.34 MPa1 , and
the consolidation coefficient from 1.3 102 cm2 /s to
3.5 104 cm2 /s. Thin clay layers are found in this
layer.
3

The method of applying vacuum loading simultaneously with the embankment construction was applied

106

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING


PROCEDURES

to an area of 52 m in width and 60 m in length.


Field testing and monitoring have been undertaken
for assessing the usefulness of this method. The
construction and testing consist of the following main
steps in chronological order:
(1) The site was cleared by removing plants and other
organic matters. Existing holes and depressions
were filled.
(2) Crisscrossed ditches were dug at the site to collect
surface water that was then pumped away from the
site.
(3) Undisturbed soil sampling and field vane shear
tests (VST) were conducted in the natural soils.
Thin walled tube samplers of 70 mm diameter
were used for the sampling. The field vane was
100 mm high and 50 mm in diameter.
(4) A 50 cm thick pad of medium to coarse sand
was placed at the site to serve several functions: spreading the vacuum, collecting water and
transferring it to drain pipes.
(5) Prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs) were
installed. The effective length of the PVDs was
25 m and the cross-section of the PVD was in a
corrugated shape, 6 mm thick and 100 mm wide.
The grid of the PVDs was in rectangular shape
with a spacing of 1.5 m by 1.5 m.
(6) Another series of VST was conducted right after
the installation of the PVDs to study the effect of
soil disturbance caused by the PVDs installation.
The vane boring was carried out midway between
the PVDs.
(7) Deep magnetic settlement rings were installed
in two boreholes to measure the settlement profile with depth. A flexible pipe was inserted
through the rings in the borehole for the passage of the measuring probe. This flexible pipe
could compress readily with the settlement of the
subsoils.
(8) Pumping pipes were installed in the sand pad.
These were plastic pipes, 50 mm in diameter, perforated with 0.5 mm openings and wrapped with a
layer of non-woven geotextiles. The pipes crossed
each other at a spacing of 4.5 m in one direction
and 6 m in the other direction. The central pipe
was connected to a jet pump system.
(9) A polyethylene membrane was used to cover the
sand pad. A trench around the tested area was
dug to anchor the membrane. Normally the trench
depth would not exceed 1.0 m. For this case,
however, there were sandy layers or sand lenses
down to depths ranging from 1.3 m to 3.2 m as
mentioned earlier. Therefore the trench was dug
to 3.5 m in depth to ensure that the membrane
covered completely the freely draining sandy layers. This large depth for a membrane had rarely
been attempted before. This case study therefore

(10)
(11)

(12)

(13)

(14)

(15)

(16)
(17)

FIELD INSTRUMENTS AND FIELD


TESTING

The effectiveness of the vacuum loading is evaluated


by means of field testing and field monitoring. In this
case study, that includes observing the vacuum pressure, measuring the soil strength, and recording the
deformations of the tested area.
Vacuum gauges were used to measure the vacuum
in the sand pad under the membrane for evaluating
the efficiency of the pump system. The sensing part
of the gauge was embedded in the sand pad, which is

107

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

provided a good opportunity to assess the use of


a deep trench to anchor the membrane.
Two inclinometer casings were installed at the two
opposite edges of the tested area.
The membrane was tested by operating the jet
pump to a constant suction of 20 kPa to check for
leakage in the membrane. Any defects detected in
the membrane were repaired carefully.
A 50 cm thick silty soil layer was placed carefully
on top of the membrane to avoid damaging it.
Settlement plates were placed on this layer. The
initial elevations of these settlement plates were
measured after they were installed.
The jet pumps were operated at the maximum
power to reach a vacuum up to 80 kPa under
the membrane. This vacuum was maintained
throughout the entire test period of 90 days. The
fact that the vacuum was maintained without
problem showed that the relative deep anchoring
of the membrane was effective to envelope the
sand layers near the ground surface.
The fill of the embankment was placed to the
design height at a compaction of 95% of maximum dry density. The placement process began at
the same time of the vacuum loading and occurred
linearly with time over a period of 19 days. The
thickness of the fill for this stage was 3.0 m, giving
a vertical pressure of 56 kPa.
Surface settlements were measured daily in the
first week, then every three days in the next three
weeks, and every week for the rest of the testing
period. The horizontal deformations of the subsoils were measured with the inclinometer, and
the settlements at depths were measured using the
settlement rings at the same frequency.
At 56 days after the beginning of the vacuum loading, about a meter of fill (19 kPa) was added to
compensate the settlement.
Soil sampling and a final series of field vane shear
test were conducted at the end of the test after
the vacuum was released. Both were carried out
midway between PVDs in the general vicinity of
the central part of the loaded area.

Figure 2. Locations of settlement rings and inclinometers.


Note: 1, 2: holes for settlements rings
3, 4: inclinometers
(1) to (6): sub-soil layers

Figure 1. Locations of settlement plates.

connected through a plastic pipe to a vacuum gauge


above the membrane for ease of reading.
Surface settlements at nine points covering the
whole loaded area were measured using the settlement plates. The locations of these points are shown
in Figure 1 with Point 1 located at the centre of the test
area. The settlements were measured with a surveying
level.
Settlements at depth were measured by using the
settlement rings installed at different depths of the subsoils. Two holes for such measurements were installed
but one of them was destroyed during construction.
Horizontal deformations on two opposite edges
of the loaded area were measured by two inclinometers. Both inclinometers reached only a depth
of 30 m, which was still in the compressible layer.
Therefore the inclinometers were not fixed at their
bases as in the usual application. Additional measurements of the top of the inclinometer casings were
made by means of a theodolite to help determine the
precise horizontal movements. The locations of settlement rings and inclinometer casings are shown in
Figure 2.
Field vane shear tests were conducted before the
construction, after the installation of the PVDs, and
after the release of the vacuum. These tests were
carried out to examine the change of the vane strength
at the various stages of the construction.
Undisturbed soil samples were taken before construction and after the release of the vacuum load. The
soil samples were tested in the laboratory to provide
information on basic soil properties and change in void
ratio and compressibility due to the construction activities. The compressibility coefficients were measured
using a standard consolidometer of 30 cm2 in area and
20 mm in height.

The results of laboratory tests on soil samples obtained


before and after construction are shown in Table 1.
This table shows that there are measurable changes in
water content, dry density, void ratio and coefficient
of compression due to the construction process. The
changes in dry density and void ratio are related to
the change in water content, the specific gravity of
the soil particles and the degree of saturation. For the
results shown in Table 1, the specific gravity for the
various layers were determined and all the soil tested
were taken from below the watertable and hence were
fully saturated. Therefore the changes in dry density
and void ratio are functions of the change in water
content. The following discussion on the change in
water content therefore also applies to the changes in
dry density and void ratio.
In the zone where the PVDs were installed, the average decrease in water content amounts to 8.4%, with a
range from 22.0% for the softest layer (second layer)
to 2.2% at the bottom of this zone, which is largely a
sandy layer. This range corresponds to a reduction in
void ratio from 23.3% to 2.6%. These changes in water
content exceed those calculated for the fully consolidated state based on parameters obtained from the
consolidation tests. This is consistent with the observation based on measured settlements to be discussed
in the next section. Below the zone with the PVDs
(below 25 m depth), a similar observation is also made
that the measured reduction in water content exceeds
that computed based on parameters obtained from
consolidation tests.
Table 1 also lists the change in coefficients of compressibility measured from consolidation tests for the
working stress range. There is an average reduction of
38.6% in the zone with the PVDs and 13% below it.
These reductions reflect the compressibility is dependent on the void ratio. At lower void ratio caused by

108

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

LABORATORY TEST RESULTS

Figure 3. Time history of vacuum and embankment loads.

the vacuum and embankment load, the compressibility


becomes smaller.
In general, therefore, the vacuum and embankment
load has produced a marked beneficial effect in reducing the water content and the compressibility of the
subsoils.
6

Figure 4. Time history of surface settlements.

FIELD MONITORING AND TEST RESULTS

The beginning of the vacuum pumping was the time


reference for all the monitored items. The time history
of the application of vacuum and embankment loads
is shown in Figure 3. The vacuum under the membrane rose up sharply in three days and then it stayed
above 80 kPa during the entire field experiment. The
fill for the embankment was added linearly with time
and completed in 19 days. Additional fill was placed
to compensate settlement between day 56 to day 63.
6.1

Surface settlements

The surface settlements during the field test are shown


in Figure 4. During the construction of the sand pad
and the checking of the vacuum pumping for leakage,
it was not possible to measure the surface settlement.
Such surface settlement was estimated using the measured settlement at depths. The maximum settlement
of about 140 cm occurred at the centre of the test area
at the end of construction.
6.2

Settlements at depth and horizontal


deformations

Hole No.2 for settlement rings was destroyed during


the embankment construction. The measured settlements at depth with time from the surviving Hole No.1
are shown in Figure 5. The settlement recorded at the
end of construction for the different layers are summarized in Table 2. The compression with respect to
the original soil thickness ranges from 3.2% to 8.5%

Figure 5. Measured settlements at different depths.


Note: Numbers in brackets are depths in metres.

in the zone with the PVDs with the largest compression being noted in the soft layer. Beneath this zone,
the total compression is 36 cm. Since the boreholes
reached only 40 m in depth, the compression in this
zone is at most 2.4%.
The horizontal deformations measured with the two
inclinometers are similar to each other and the results
of one are shown in Figure 6. It is of interest to note that
when the vacuum was maintained, the top of the inclinometer moved slightly towards the tested area. After
that, when the surcharge and the vacuum were both

109

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 2. Consolidation time and the comparison of coefficient of consolidation.

soil
Soft soil

Depth
(m)

*Time of
primary
cons.
cv
cvr
cv /cvr
(day)
(m2 /day) (m2 /day)

2.55.5 66
5.58.5 62
8.515.5 44

0.008
0.008
0.033

0.021
0.030
0.072

2.63
3.75
2.18

38

0.067

0.154

2.30

Clay wit
low LL
Sity sand 15.525

Note: *deduced from settlement records from the field;


= coefficient of consolidation obtained from laboratory consolidation test;
= coefficient of consolidation obtained from back-analysis
of the settlement records using the method of Ossen (1977).

Figure 7. Field vane strengths measured at different times.

of the vacuum load has been small and the soils moved
outwards as in an ordinary embankment loading case
without the vacuum.
6.3 Field vane shear strengths

Figure 6. Measured lateral displacements.

operative, they produced a net effect so that the top of


the inclinometer did not move further. The directions
of lateral deformations were towards the inside of the
tested area within the zone with the PVDs. The maximum inward lateral deformations varied with time in
the vacuum application period with the average maximum lateral strain being 0.5%. At other locations, the
inward movement has been much smaller. The inward
horizontal movements suggest that there has been an
appreciable increase in the effective horizontal stress
during the vacuum loading in this zone. On the other
hand, the horizontal movements reversed in direction
below the zone with the PVDs. In this zone the effect

The vane shear strengths of the clay layers obtained


before loading, after the installation of PVDs, and at
the end of the vacuum loading are shown in Figure 7.
The results show that the vane strength decreased
significantly due to the disturbance of the installation
of the PVDs at which time the vacuum had not been
applied. For the soft layer, the drop in vane strength
was 26.3%. This drop reduced the safety factor of the
subsequent embankment to almost 1.0. However, the
embankment was built according to plan with no sign
of distress because the vacuum through the PVDs provided sufficient rise in effective stress to increase the
strength to prevent failure. At the end of construction,
the vane strength in the soft layer regained to almost
1.9 times higher than the original value before construction. This is remarkable as the increase in the clay
layers occurred in 90 days. According to Law (1985),
the increase of vane shear strength of normally consolidated clays is dependent on the vertical effective
pressure and the geometry of the loading. The geometry of this present case falls into those for which a
vane strength increase is possible.
The ratio of cu /po  at different depths is shown in
Figure 8. Initially before construction, the average
ratio of cu /po is 0.24. This is within the range for similar soils (Law 1985). The ratio falls to 0.21 with the
embankment load at the end of construction in spite of
the absolute strength increase. Such a lowered ratio is

110

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

by the 4.03 m high embankment that added another


75 kPa. By using the one-dimensional consolidation
model, the estimated surface settlement at the centre
of the loaded area is 93 cm. as calculated with Eq. 1.
s = Si = 

Figure 8. Profiles of cu /po with depth at initial state and at


end of construction.

also in line with other cases involving man-made load


(Law 1985).
7

COMPARISON OF MEASURED AND


ESTIMATED SETTLEMENTS

Vacuum preloading combined with the surcharge


embankment load in this case and PVDs causes the
soil to consolidate in a manner that is different from
a regular loading surcharge with PVDs. The vacuum
provides not only an equivalent vertical surcharge,
it also increases significantly the hydraulic gradient
for drainage into the PVDs. Furthermore, the vacuum reaching the soil at depth through the PVDs also
increases the effective horizontal stresses in the soil to
enhance the consolidation effect. Although traditional
analysis does not take into account of the effects of
increased hydraulic gradients and effective horizontal
stress, they are commonly used to interpret the measured results (Imai 1995, Shang 1998,). The traditional
method of analysis is also used in this study for comparing measured and traditionally evaluated results
in terms of the various aspects of the consolidation
process.
7.1 Total settlement
The computation for the total settlement is based on
soil characteristics such as the initial void ratios and
the coefficients of compressibility of sub-soils given
in Table 1. The load condition is given by the vacuum
preloading of 80 kPa acting on an the area of 48 m in
width and 60 m in length, and the surcharge supplied

(1)

where s is the settlement on at the ground surface; si


and Hi are settlement and thickness of soil layer i; avi
is the coefficient of compression; pi is the applied
additional pressure on soil layer i due to the vacuum
and the embankment loads. The prediction point of the
settlement is located at the centre of the test area. The
applied stresses are calculated based on the integration
of Bousssinesq solution.
Eq. 1 is based on one-dimensional settlement with
zero lateral deformation. Any lateral deformation will
increase or decrease the real settlement. For this case
study, inward horizontal movement has been observed
throughout the deformation in the top 25 m of subsoil
in which the PVDs were installed. The Poissons effect
of this inward movement would cause a reduction
in the vertical settlement. Such an effect is reversed
in the subsoil below the depth of 25 m in which the
horizontal movement is outward. These effects will
contribute to the discrepancy between the observed
and estimated settlements. The field measured settlement is about 140 cm, which is significantly higher
than the estimated value of 93 cm. Possible reasons
for this discrepancy will be discussed later.

7.2 Settlement-time relationship


The settlement-time relationship in this case is more
complex than the case of regular loading. In the zone
with the PVDs, the hydraulic gradient during vacuum
loading is quite different from that of regular loading
and the coefficient of consolidation in the horizontal
direction is not equal to that in the vertical direction.
In this analysis, pore pressure dissipation is considered
horizontal towards the PVDs in the top 25 m and vertical below this zone. In the zone with the PVDs, the
consolidation in vertical direction is neglected. The
solution by Barron (1948) is used to calculate the
consolidation in horizontal direction. The equivalent
radius of a PVD is 7 cm. The radius of the equivalent
circle is 84.6 cm for the PVDs installed in rectangular
grid with the spacing of 1.5 m 1.5 m. The settlement
of a layer of thickness H is given by:
S1 (t) = mv pH (1


2
ekmt )
2
M
m=1

(2)

where s1 (t) is the settlement at time t for a soil layer


of thickness H inside the zone with the PVDs. The

111

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

avi Pi
Hi
1 + e0i

vertical applied stress caused by both the vacuum and


the embankment loads is p .

7.4 Coefficient of consolidation

The measured and the estimated settlements at different depths have been compared. The comparison
shows that the measured settlement (36.0 cm) below
the depth of 25 m is much higher than the estimated
value (17.85 cm). This difference is caused partly by
the settlement of the subsoils below the depth of 40 m,
where there is no information on the compressional
characteristics. All settlements in the layers from the
ground surface to the depth of 25 m are also higher
than the estimated values, especially in the top layer
and the soft clay layer.

Using the settlement records obtained at different


depths, one can determine the observed consolidation
settlements for different layers in the zone with the
PVDs that transferred the vacuum. These settlements
are plotted with the logarithm of time (t) in Figure 10.
By means of Casagrandes log time method, the time
to reach primary consolidation has been evaluated and
the results are shown in Table 2. For these layers, the
time to complete primary consolidation varies from
38 to 66 days, remarkably short time that is beneficial to expedite the construction of the embankment.
The coefficient of consolidation has been obtained
using two different methods. The first, denoted by
cv , is determined from the laboratory consolidation
tests on vertical samples. The second, denoted by cvr ,
is obtained from the settlement records interpreted
using Ossens method (1977) on radial drainage. In
the application of this method, the vacuum is taken as
an instantaneously applied load and the embankment
load a linearly increasing load over a period of 19 days.
The results from both methods are listed in Table 2. A
comparison of these two sets of results shows that the
ratio of the coefficient of consolidation determined
from the observed settlement records to those determined from the laboratory tests range from two to four.
The ratio is not as high as those reported by Leroueil
(1988). The explanation probably lies in the fact that in
the present case, there are opposing factors affecting
the coefficient of consolidation in the field. Factors
that increase the field value are the higher permeability coefficient in the radial (horizontal) direction and
the high hydraulic gradient resulting from the vacuum.
On the other hand, smear effect caused by installing the
PVDs decreases the field permeability.
This is due partly to higher permeability coefficient
in the radial (horizontal) direction and partly to the
high hydraulic gradient resulting from the vacuum.

Figure 9. Estimated and measured settlements at the center


of the test area.

Figure 10. Vertical compressions of subsoil layers from the


surface to a depth of 25 m.

mv =

av
;
1 + e0

= f (kr,n );

M=
n=

(2m 1)
;
2

Km =

2Cvr
;
re2

re
= radius ratio.
rw

kr is the coefficient of conductivity in the radial


direction;
av is coefficient of compression in the vertical direction;
The smear effect due to installation of the drains is
neglected in Eq.2.
The consolidation settlement of the compressible
layer at the depths between 25 m and 40 m is calculated by the conventional Terzaghis one-dimensional
consolidation theory. The calculated consolidation settlements with time at the centre of the loaded area
are shown in Fig. 9. In general the observed settlement rate in the field is higher than the estimated
value.

7.3 Settlements at different depths

112

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

7.5 Void ratio


The void ratio at the end of the field testing can be
estimated in three different ways: 1) laboratory determination of void ratio of soil samples taken at the end
of field testing, 2) theoretical consideration of the compressional characteristics measured in the laboratory
on soil samples taken before the construction, and 3)
analysis of the settlement records. The results obtained
from the three methods for soils within the zone with
PVDs are compared in Fig. 11 and Fig. 12 using the
void ratio determined from method 1 as reference. The
values of void ratio on the x-axis and the y-axis are
the same on the dashed lines in Fig. 11 and Fig. 12.
Fig. 11 shows that void ratio determined from the compressional characteristics measured on soil samples
taken before construction is higher than the actual
measured values. This is consistent with the observation that the measured settlement is higher than
the estimated settlement. Fig. 12 shows that the void

Figure 11. Relationship of void ratios obtained from laboratory tests and from estimated settlements.
Note: ee = void ratio estimated using av and change in effective vertical stress
ed = void ratio determined directly on samples taken after
construction

Figure 12. Relationship of void ratios obtained from laboratory tests and from settlement records.

ratio deduced from the settlement records is approximately equal to the directly measured void ratio. This
implies that the horizontal inward movement caused by
the vacuum load has negligible effect on the vertical
settlement.
8

8.1 Measured vs estimated settlement


The settlements calculated using Eq. [1] in this case are
appreciably lower than the measured settlements. This
observation is in line with those reported in a number of cases (Lou 1992, Shang et al. 1998, Mass et al
2001), except for the soft sensitive clay in Bangkok,
and the results are summarized in Table 3. Possible reasons for the calculated settlements being lower than the
observed values are as follows:
Soil disturbance due to the installation of PVDs
reduces the strength and increases the compressibility
of the subsoils. While this is rarely reported in the literature, the data in this present study show that there has
been a significant decrease (26%) in the vane strength
of the soft clay (Figure 7). The compressibility, though
not measured, must have increased appreciably and led
to settlement in the field larger than the calculated.
The cases with the same observation in Table 3 also
had PVDs installed and soil disturbance could also be
a contributing factor for the observed phenomenon.
The exception is the case in Bangkok featuring soft
sensitive clays. For this type of material, the soil disturbance during sampling and handling in the laboratory
produces a softening effect probably exceeding that of
the disturbance due to the installation of the drains.
Some secondary settlements could have occurred
during the application of the vacuum. According to
measurements by Tang and Shang (2000), and Ye
(1983), the pore pressure reaches a steady value in
10 days I n the subsoils during vacuum application.
Beyond the 10 days, the effective vertical stress therefore remained relatively constant. However, there was
an additional 33% (Tang and Shang 2000) settlement
from day 10 to day 90 beyond that measured in the
first 10 days, clearly indicating the significance of
secondary settlement.
A similar observation can be deduced in the present
study with soils similar to those of Tang and Shang
(2000), and Ye (1983). While no excess pore pressure
measurements have been made in the present study,
the field observed settlements as summarized in Figure 10 show that the consolidation process based on
Casagrandes logarithm time method was completed
before the release of the vacuum. The actual time
of the end of primary consolidation could have been
shorter than that estimated from the field records if
secondary compression had been accounted for. Taking this into consideration, there was ample time for

113

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DISCUSSION

Table 3.

Comparison on measured and estimated settlements involving vacuum loading.

Reference

Soil characterists

sm /sp

Note

This paper

Clay and silty soil, eo = 0.6 to 1.6,


av = 0.2 to 0.9 MPa1
Soft clay, silty clay to silty sand,

1.21 to 1.50

sm /sp varies with soil layers

1.55
1.11 to 1.37
1.26
1.27

Test area
Along runway
Average of 4 cases
Estimated settlements
obtained based on data
given in the paper

Shang et al. (1998)


Lou (1992)
Mass et al. (2001)
For 5 projects

CH, eo = 1.2 to 1.5


Clay and baymud with organic content,
cc = 0.31.1, eo = 1.031.87
Marine clay deposits cc = 1.2, e0 = 2
Alluvial silty clay cc = 0.9, e0 = 2.5
Bangkok soft clay* cc = 1.11.4, eo = 33.4
Alluvial deposits cc = 0.850.83, e0 = 1.72.1

1.26
1.33
0.82
1.03

Note: sm = measured settlement; sp = estimated settlement; vacuum is taken as 80 kPa

sensitive clay.

secondary compression to occur in the field, giving


a total observed settlement larger than that estimated
from laboratory tests without secondary compression.
Therefore the observed settlement being higher than
the estimated settlement involving vacuum loading
reported in this case is not without precedence. Soil
disturbance due to PVDs installation and secondary
compression are possible reasons for this discrepancy.
8.2

Post-construction settlement

After the construction of the embankment, there will be


additional loads to be applied. The first comes from the
paving materials to finish the road surface for traffic.
This would add about 20 kPa to the embankment. The
second comes from live traffic load, which amounts to
another 20 kPa. Therefore there will be a final addition
of stress of 40 kPa. This is less than the release of
the vacuum load of 80 kPa. Therefore the additional
loading will occur in the over-consolidated state and
hence will only give rise to a small settlement.
8.3 Advantages of the proposed construction
method
The construction of an embankment over soft soils
with simultaneous vacuum loading provides some
advantages over the method of regular surcharge loading. The advantages include speed of construction and
affordability.
The use of vacuum load speeds up the construction process. The application of the vacuum increases
the hydraulic gradient and expedites the consolidation
process. In addition, the application of the vacuum
induces immediate strength increase in the subsoils
in spite of some strength loss due to the installation
of the PVDs. This will enable the construction of the
embankment without delay. In the present case, it took
only 90 days to complete the embankment construction

with full consolidation and little subsequent settlement


due to minor load addition by surface paving and live
traffic load. Using the alternative method of surcharge
loading will take a much longer time.
The common view on vacuum loading is that it is
an expensive method. In reality it is competitive with
the surcharging method. The installation of the vacuum system and the electric power to run it does incur
some costs. In the surcharging method, there is need to
purchase a much larger volume of fill than is needed
for the final embankment. After the surcharging, there
are also expenses involved in disposing the extra fill.
A cost comparison has been made for the two methods for the present case. It has been found that the
cost for constructing the embankment with simultaneously vacuum loading is almost the same as that by the
surcharging method.

A 4-m highway embankment on soft ground with


marginal stability has been successfully constructed
using simultaneous application of vacuum loading.
This method allows the embankment to be built to its
final grade and shape within a short time. The consolidation settlement was complete in 38 to 66 days in
the different layers of the subsoils. Laboratory testing,
field vane shear tests and deformation monitoring have
been conducted to help understand the behaviour of the
subsoils subjected to embankment load with concomitant vacuum load and the following conclusions can be
drawn.
(1) The field vane shear strength decreases appreciably due to mechanical disturbance generated
during the installation of the prefabricated vertical drains (PVDs). For the softest clay layer, such
disturbance led to 26% decrease in the field vane

114

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSIONS

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

shear strength. However, at the end of the embankment construction when the vacuum was released,
the field vane strength regained up to 1.9 times of
the original value.
The observed settlements in different layers are
21% to 50% larger than the estimated values
based on conventional laboratory consolidation
test results. The reason for this phenomenon is due
to softening of the subsoils as a result of mechanical disturbance due to the installation of the PVDs
and secondary compression.
The consolidation coefficients deduced from consolidation settlements under the embankment are
2 to 4 times higher than the values determined
in the laboratory. Three reasons have been suggested for the discrepancy. First, the high hydraulic
gradient created by the vacuum accelerates the
consolidation in the field. Secondly, the PVDs
enable consolidation in the horizontal direction
along which the permeability coefficient. Thirdly,
the smear in the soil caused by installing PVDs has
an opposing effect. The net results that the field
consolidation coefficients are higher than those in
the vertical direction as measured in the laboratory.
Inward horizontal movements have been observed
during the period of vacuum loading. This inward
movement indicates a significant increase in the
effective horizontal stress. This effective stress
increase has been immediate and hence the
strength increase is also immediate, leading to
favourable condition for rapid construction of the
embankment in spite of the decrease in strength
due to the disturbance by the installation of the
PVDs. This horizontal inward movement, however, does not appear to have significant effect
on the vertical settlement based on comparison
of the void ratio measured on soil samples taken
after the completion of the embankment construction and the void ratio deduced with the measured
settlements.
Future loading from paving the road surface and
from traffic will generate a pressure less than the
release of the vacuum.The future loading therefore
will occur in the over-consolidated state with little
further settlement.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Financial supports for this study from The General
Expressway Company of Jiangsu Province, China
and The Natural Science and Engineering Council of
Canada are gratefully acknowledged. Heartfelt thanks
are due to Ms H. X. Zhang and Ms Y. Yun for
conducting the laboratory experiment.

REFERENCES
Barron, R. A. 1948, Consolidation of the fine-grained soils
by drain wells, Transactions of the ASCE, 718742
Bergalo, D.T., Balasubramaniam, A.S., Fannin, R.J., and
Holtz, R.D. 2002, Prefab. Vert. drains (PVDs) in soft
Bankok clay: a case study of the new Bankok International
Airport Project, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol.39,
304315
Choa. V. 1989, Drains and vacuum loading pilot test, Proc.
XII, Intl Conf. On Soil Mech. and Found. Eng., Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, 13471350
Das, B.M., 2001, Principles of Geotechnical Engineering
(Fifth edition), Thomson Learning
Imai, G. 1995, Analytical examination of the foundations to
formulate consolidation phenomena with inherent timedependence, Proc. Int. Sym. Compaction and Consolidation of Clayey Soils, Hiroshima, Japan, Vol.2, 891935.
Kjellman, W. 1952, Consolidation of clayey soils by atmospheric pressure, Proc. Conference on Soil Stabilization,
Massachusettes Institute of Technology, Boston, 258263
Law, K. T. 1985, Use of field vane tests under earthstructures, 11th International Conference Soil Mechanics
and Foundation Engineering, San Francisco, 893898
Leroueil S., 1988, Tenth Canadian geotechnical colloquium:
Recent developments in consolidation of natural clays,
Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 25, 85107
Liu C. Y., Chen S. H., 1999, The application of vacuum combined with surcharge in the construction of expressway,
4th Conference of the Application of PVDs in the Soft
Foundations, Hohai University Press, 432438
Lou, Y. 1992, Improvement of soft clay by vacuum loading, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (In Chinese), Vol.1,
No.2, 5659
Mass F., Spaulding C. A., Wong P. I. C., and Varaksin S.,
2001 Vacuum Consolidation A review of 12 years
of successful development, Geo-odyssey, ASCE, Virginia
Tech-Blacksburg, VA, USA
Ossen, R. E., 1977, Consolidation under time dependent loading, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering Division,ASCE,
Vol.103, No. GT1, 5560
Shang, J. Q., Tang, M., and Miao, Z. 1998, Vacuum loading
consolidation of reclaimed land: a case study, Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 35, No.5, 740749
Shang, S. Z., 1988, Experimental study of vacuum loading
with surcharge in Shanghai Harbor,Transport Engineering
(In Chinese), No.3, 18
Tang, M. and Shang, J. Q. 2000, Vacuum loading consolidation of Yaoqiang Airport runway, Geotechnique, Vol. 50,
No. 6, 613623
Tsuchida, T. 2001, Settlement of pleistocene clay layer in
coastal area, the reason, prediction, and measure, Soft Soil
Engineering, edited by Lee, C.F., Lau, C.K., Ng, C.W.W.,
Kwong, A.K.L., Pang, P.L.R., Yin, J.H., and Yue, Z.Q.
Ye B. R., 1983, The improvement of soft foundations by vertical drains with vacuum loading, Harbor Engineering (In
Chinese), No.1, 2630

115

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Failure of a column-supported embankment over soft ground


William M. Camp III
S&ME, Inc., Mount Pleasant South Carolina, USA

Timothy C. Siegel
Berkel & Company Contractors, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

ABSTRACT: As part of improvements to a roadway in coastal South Carolina, a portion of the road crossing
reclaimed marshland was widened. The new lanes were constructed on a column-supported embankment consisting of sand fill reinforced by geogrid and supported by vibro-concrete columns that penetrate through the
underlying very soft clays and into the local basement stratum. Shortly after construction, the roadway on the
column-supported embankment began to experience distress characterized by an irregular surface with humps at
the column locations and depressions in the areas between column locations. The differential vertical deformation
between the high and low points was sufficiently significant that the owner closed the roadway almost immediately after completion. Forensic study illustrated that the design applied state-of-practice design techniques;
however, certain design assumptions were not consistent with the fundamentals controlling the column-supported
embankment behavior. This paper describes the original design, construction, and the authors forensic study for
this failure.
1

INTRODUCTION

For more than two decades, column-supported


embankments (CSE) have been used to allow rapid
embankment construction over soft compressible
soils. A CSE consists of three components: (1)
embankment material, (2) a load transfer platform,
and (3) vertical elements extending from the load
transfer platform to a firm stratum. The load transfer platform typically consists of granular fill with
horizontal layers of a reinforcing geosynthetic. Conventional pile types were used as the vertical support
element (i.e., the columns) in the early use of columnsupported embankments. For more recent projects,
other types of vertical elements, including soil mix
columns and vibro-concrete columns, have been used
in lieu of conventional pile types. A column-supported
embankment is shown in cross-section in Figure 1.
2

REVIEW OF DESIGN METHODS

A comprehensive design and analysis of a CSE would


require the consideration of a very complicated threedimensional condition involving a complex geometry,
numerous interfaces, and non-linear materials. Considering this, the available design methods make use
of simplifying assumptions that need to be confirmed
as part of the design process.As a minimum, the design
should consider the transfer of the embankment load to

Figure 1. Column-supported embankment (after Collin,


2004).

the columns, the differential settlement at the surface,


and the capacity of the columns.
As illustrated by the numerous recent technical
papers on the subject (Collin, 2004; Collin et al., 2004;
Han and Collin, 2005), the CSE design methods are
still evolving within the engineering community. However, a review of published literature indicates that
there are two general principles common to the existing
design methods:

117

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soils have some ability to arch over soft zones or


voids (Terzaghi, 1943). The degree of arching is
related to the embankment geometry (i.e., the soil
thickness required to form an arch and the size of the
area that must be spanned by the arch), the strength
and stiffness of the soil, and the movement within

Figure 2. Ground conditions.

the soil mass (which is necessary to mobilize the


soil strength).
Geosynthetics can aid in the transfer of the embankment load to nearby vertical elements or columns
by: (a) promoting an increase in soil arching (Collin,
2004) or (b) acting as a tensioned membrane
(Giroud et al., 1990). The distinction between the
two different purposes of the geosynthetic is crucial to the proper application of the available design
methods.
3

SOUTH CAROLINA CSE CASE HISTORY

3.1 Project background


As part of the improvements to a roadway in coastal
South Carolina, a portion of the road crossing
reclaimed marshland was widened. The new lanes
were constructed on a column-supported embankment consisting of sand fill reinforced by geogrid
and supported by vibro-concrete columns that penetrate through the underlying very soft clays and into
the local basement stratum. Shortly after construction,
the roadway on the column-supported embankment
began to experience distress characterized by an irregular surface with humps at the column locations and
depressions in the areas between column locations
(i.e., dimpling). The differential vertical deformation
between the high and low points (>50 mm or 2 in.)
was such that the owner had to close the roadway
almost immediately after completion. The authors
were retained to review the design calculations and
plans, observe the roadway conditions, and determine
the events that led to roadway distress.

3.2

As illustrated in Figure 2, the ground conditions at


the site consist of the following (from the ground surface): (a) an upper sandy fill layer with a thickness
of approximately 2 m (6.6 ft), (2) very soft marsh clay
with occasional interbedded sand lenses, and (3) a firm
calcareous clay.
3.3

Design review

The basic CSE design is summarized in Figures 3


and 4. The length of the CSE is approximately 310 m
(1017 ft) and its width ranges from 7 to 20 m (23 to
66 ft). The vibro-concrete columns were installed in
a triangular pattern with a center-to-center spacing
of 2.5 m (8.2 ft). The 0.6 m (24 in.) diameter vibroconcrete columns are oversized to about 0.91 m (36 in.)
immediately below the load transfer platform.The load
transfer platform consists of 0.6 m (24 in.) of granular fill with three horizontal layers of Tensar BX 1200
geogrid vertically spaced at 0.2 m (8 in.). The typical
embankment fill thickness was 1.1 m (3.6 ft).
The authors were responsible for review of the CSE
design to determine the cause(s) of roadway distress.
The Code of practice for strengthened/reinforced soils
and other fills (British Standard 8006, 1995) provides a convenient summary of the failure modes
for column-supported embankments. The ultimate
limit states correspond to strength-related conditions
(e.g., pile capacity and side-slope stability) and the
serviceability limit states correspond to deformationrelated conditions. It is the authors conclusion that
the observed deformation-related condition was consistent with the reinforcement strain failure mode

118

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Ground conditions

Figure 3. Conceptual drawing of the subject CSE.

Figure 4. Detail of the subject CSE.

(i.e., a serviceability limit state failure) described by


the BS 8006 which is illustrate in Figure 5.
The various design methods attempt to prevent a
reinforcement strain failure by establishing limits on
the ratio of the embankment height to the column spacing and/or ensuring that the load transfer platform is
sufficiently stiff to limit differential vertical deformations. The embankment height-to-column relationship is related to the geometry required to fully develop

arching in the load transfer platform. For a given column spacing, there exists a critical embankment height
at which arching is fully developed. Above the critical height, any additional fill or surcharge loading is
expected to be distributed completely to the columns
with no additional loading of the subgrade between
the columns (Han and Gabr, 2002). Within the various design methods, the assumed critical height ranges
from a minimum of 70% of the edge-to-edge column

119

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Required Tension (kN/m)

500

Tension (kN/m)

35

Strain (%)

30

400

25

300

20
15

200

10
100

0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

Settlement Compatible Strain (%)

40

600

90

Surface Settlement, y (cm)

Figure 5. Reinforcement strain limit-state failure from BS


8006.

spacing to a maximum of the center-to-center column spacing (Collin, 2004). For the column geometry
of the subject CSE, the critical embankment height
would range from 1.1 to 2.5 m (3.6 to 8.2 ft) for the
various design methods. As designed and constructed,
the maximum embankment height was 1.1 m (3.6 ft)
and the majority of the embankment was too thin for
arching to fully develop.
In theory, regardless of the degree of arching, it is
possible to fully support the weight of the embankment
on a load-transfer platform that spans the columns.
Giroud et al. (1990) proposed a landfill design procedure that considers the ability of a geosynthetic
beneath a fill to span an underlying void. This tensioned membrane theory, as detailed in TTN:WM3
(Tensar, 1989) was used by the original designers of the
subject CSE. The intention of the design was to have
the horizontal layers of geosynthetic carry the embankment load in tension and transfer the load to the nearby
vibro-concrete columns. For such a design approach, it
is critical to recognize that the vertical displacement of
the embankment fill, the strain in the geosynthetic, and
the resulting tension in the geosynthetic are interrelated. As the fill between columns experiences downward vertical displacement, the geosynthetic begins
to elongate and a tensile stress is mobilized within
the geosynthetic to resist the elongation. For reasons related to geometry, the tensile stress decreases
as the vertical displacement (and the resulting elongation) increases. To avoid a reinforcement strain
failure, a design must achieve compatibility between
the tolerable vertical displacement and the computed
geosynthetic elongation and corresponding mobilized
tensile stress.
Within the original design calculations, the relationship between the strain within the tensioned membrane
and the vertical displacement (i.e., embankment settlement between the columns) was not recognized.
The computations of the geosynthetic strains, vertical displacements, and geosynthetic tension forces
were uncoupled from one another. Due to the strain
incompatibility, the actual CSE was designed and constructed with only three layers of Tensar BX 1200

Figure 6. Strain compatibility relationship in CSE.

geogrid with the expectation that the differential settlement would be less than 25 mm (1in.). According
to Tensar, the long term design strengths of BX 1200
are 3 kN/m (208 lbs/ft) and 6.7 kN/m (454 lbs/ft) in
the machine and cross-machine directions, respectively. Thus, the available combined tension in the
three geogrids would be a maximum of 20.1 kN/m
(1362 lbs/ft).
Figure 6 correctly illustrates the theoretical
behaviour of the tensioned membrane in this case.
The solid line is the relationship between surface
settlement and the corresponding required tension.
The dashed line is the relationship between surface
settlement and the geosynthetic strain (or deformed
shape). As the allowable surface settlement decreases,
the maximum reinforcement strain decreases and the
required geosynthetic tension increases. The design
objective for this project was a surface settlement of
25 mm (1in.) which corresponds to a required geosynthetic tension of 268 kN/m (36,750 lbs/ft). This tension
force is more than 10 times greater that the value used
in the original design. Considering that reinforcement
of this magnitude would not be practical (e.g., 88 layers
of BX1200 would be required), correct design calculations would likely have led to selection of a closer
column spacing.
3.4 Forensic exploration observations
The design deficiencies were sufficient to cause a
serviceability failure but construction deficiencies further exacerbated the distress. Construction documents
indicated that 25 of the 700 vibro-concrete columns
were not installed. The omission of a column means
that the design spacing was exceeded in some areas.
The 4% reduction in the number of vibro-concrete
columns likely increased surface settlement in localized areas, but the performance of the entire embankment was inadequate. Additional post-construction
test pit observations by the authors revealed several
conditions that probably did not reflect the designers
intentions. There was no cutoff elevation specified
for the top of the vibro-concrete columns and the

120

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

as-built elevation of the top of adjacent vibro-concrete


columns varied as much as 0.36 m (1.2 ft). As a result,
the geosynthetic reinforcement was not planar nor
evenly spaced in some areas. While it is understood
that horizontal placement of the geosynthetic reinforcement is an important assumption of the design
method, the authors have not attempted to quantify
the influence of deviations for the subject project.
4

CONCLUDING REMARKS

A column-supported embankment (CSE) was constructed across reclaimed marshland. The embankment was relatively thin (maximum height of 1.1 m
(3.6 ft) and the vibro-concrete columns were spaced at
2.5 m (8.2 ft) center-to-center. Shortly after construction, the roadway surface began to deform with humps
at the column locations with depressions between
column locations. The distressed roadway surface distinctly appeared like the reinforced strain failure
mode described the Code of practice for strengthened/reinforced soils and other fills (British Standard
8006, 1995).
The authors forensic study revealed that the design
did not properly consider the embankment height-tocolumn spacing guidelines and the interrelationship
between embankment settlement and elongation (or
strain) of the tension membrane. Because of this, the
tensile resistance available within the geosynthetic
reinforcement that composed the tension membrane
was substantially under-designed. The authors conclude that the primary cause of the deformation-related
failure was that the embankment load exceeded the
tensile resistance available in the geosynthetic layers at
the elongation corresponding to the design settlement.
The authors were requested to consider mitigation measures following the forensic evaluation. Initial
consideration was given to modifying the existing
CSE structure. While the roadway geometry precluded substantial changes in the embankment height,
it could have been possible to add vibro-concrete
columns and/or re-build the load transfer platform
with a greater geosynthetic reinforcement. The owner
decided that a pile-supported structure would be a
more economical and reliable alternative. The distressed CSE is currently being removed and replaced
with a pile-supported, structural flat-slab structure.

willingness to support the preparation and presentation


of this paper.
REFERENCES
BS 8006:1995, 1999. Code of practice for strengthened/reinforced soils and other fills, British Standards
Institution, London.
Collin, J.G., 2004. Column supported embankment design
considerations. University of Minnesota, 52nd Annual
Geotechnical Engineering Conference.
Collin, J.G., Watson, C.H. & Han, J., 2005. Columnsupported embankment solves time constaint for new road
construction Geotechnical Special Publication No. 131,
ASCE.
Giroud, J.P., Bonapart, R., Beech, J.F. and Gross, B.A.,
1990. Design of soil layer-geosynthetic systems overlying
voids, Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Elsevier Science
Publishers Ltd., England, 1150.
Han, J. & Akins, K. 2002. Use of geogrid-reinforced and
pile-supported earth structures, Geotechnical Special
Publication No. 116, ASCE, 668679.
Han, J. & Collin, J.G., 2005. Geosynthetic support systems
over pile foundations GRI-18-Geosynthetic Research
and Development in Progress, Geosynthetic Research
Institute.
Han, J. & Gabr, M.A., 2002., Numerical analysis of
geosynthetic-reinforced and pile-supported earth platforms over soft soils. Journal of Geotechnical and
Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 128, No.1, 4453.
Kempton, G.T., Russell, D., Pierpoint, N. & Jones, C.J.P.F.,
1998. Two- and three-dimensional numerical analysis
of the performance of geosynthetics carrying embankment loads over piles. Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Geosynthetics,
Atlanta, Georgia.
Naughton, P.J. and Kempton, G.T., 2005. Comparison of
analytical and numerical analysis design methods for
piled embankments. Geotechnical Special Publication
No. 131, ASCE.
Rogbeck, Y., Gustavsson, S., Sodergren, & Lindquist, D.
1998. Reinforced piled embankments in Sweden-design
aspects. Proceedings of Sixth International Conference
on Geosynthetics, 755762.
S&ME, Inc. 2004. Report of Design Review Virginia
Avenue Roadway Widening. Charleston, South Carolina.
Stewart, M.E., Navin, M.P. & Filz, G.M. 2004., Analysis of
a column supported test embankment at the I-95/Route 1
interchange. Geotechnical Special Publication No. 126,
ASCE.
Terzaghi, K., 1943. Theoretical soil mechanics, John Wiley &
Sons, 510 p.
TTN:WM3 Tensar Technical Note. 1989. Design of Tensar
geogrid reinforcement to support landfill lining and cover
systems, Tensar Corporation, 24 p.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge S&ME, Inc.
and Berkel & Company Contractors, Inc. for their

121

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Performance of highway embankments on Bangkok clay


Satipong Apimeteetamrong, Jutha Sunitsakul & Attasit Sawatparnich
Bureau of Road Research and Development, Department of Highways, Thailand

ABSTRACT: Department of Highways, Thailand, reconstructed the highway route number 3117 (KlongDanBangbor), which connects two major highways to the eastern part of the country. The highway embankment
constructed on improved soft Bangkok clay; those soil improvement techniques are deep mixing cement column,
shallow cement stabilization, and preload methods. Soft Bangkok clay layer in the reconstruction area is about
1215 meters thick. Total pressure cells, piezometers, inclinometers, settlement plates, and rod extensometers,
have been installed in three soil improvement sections in order to monitor the highway embankment performance
evaluation during and after the reconstruction.

INTRODUCTION

Department of Highways, Thailand, constructed the


national highway route number 3117 (KlongDanBangBor) in 1963 to connect between the national
highways route number 3 (Sukumvith Rd.) and 34
(BangNa-BangPaKong) as shown in figure 1. Since
this highway is founded on the well known soft
Bangkok clay (see figure 2), an excessive settlement is expected; thus, Department of Highways
reconstructed this highway twice in 1988 and 2002,
respectively. The main contractor of the recent reconstruction is Thanasin (1991) Co., Ltd. On the latest reconstruction project, three ground improvement
techniques were introduced. These techniques are deep
mixing cement column, shallow cement stabilization, and preloaded methods. Thicknesses of highway

embankments on these three sections are 1.5, 1.0, and


1.0 meter, respectively (see figure 3 for more information). Due to expected high flood level and low
embankment elevation at shallow cement stabilization
and preloaded sections, small levees are constructed
on both sides of the highway.
In order to monitor the performance of the highway embankment during and after construction, total
pressure cells, piezometers, inclinometers, settlement
plates, and rod extensometers have been installed. In
addition, vane shear tests and soil borings are performed in Bangkok clay layers. Field measurement
data are thoroughly studied and compared with current
geotechnical applications. Recommendations regarding to both geotechnical design criteria and highway
construction on soft Bangkok clay are provided for
future highway construction in the soft Bangkok clay.
Depth
(m)
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32

Figure 1. Map shown the location of the construction site.

BH-6
4+975

BH-7 BH-8
6+300 7+250

Fill Sand Layer

Soft to Very Soft Clay

Medium Stiff Clay

Dense Silty Sand

Stiff
Clay

Figure 2. Soil profiles at the construction site (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006)

123

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

BH-1 BH-2 BH-3 BH-4 BH-5


0+250 1+000 2+000 3+000 4+000

STRIP SODDING

3.0 %

120

STRIP SODDING

3.0%

Plastic Limit (%)

Figure 3.1. Typical cross-section of the highway embankment on the soft Bangkok clay improved by the preloaded
method.
STRIP SODDING

3.0 %

STRIP SODDING

3.0 %

U-Line
PI=0.9(LL-8)

100

EXISTING ROADWAY
5 CM. WEARING COURSE (AC.60-70)
5 CM.BINDER COURSE (AC. 60-70)
20 CM. CRUSHED ROCK SOIL AGGREGATE TYPE BASE GRADE A OR B
ON C.B.R. 80 % (MIN.)
20 CM. SOIL AGGREGATE SUBBASE GRADE A, B OR C ONLY, C.B.R. 25% (MIN)
SAND EMBANKMENT C.B.R. 10 % (MIN.)

80
BKK Clay
PI=0.87(LL-16)
60
40

A-Line
PI=0.73(LL-20)

20
0

EXISTING ROADWAY
5 CM. WEARING COURSE (AC. 60-70)

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

5 CM. BINDER COURSE (AC. 60-70)

Liquid Limit (%)

20 CM. CRUSHED ROCK SOIL AGGREGATE TYPE BASE GRADE A OR B


OC.B.R. 80 % (MIN.)
20 CM. SOIL AGGREGATE SUBBASE GRADE A, B OR C ONLY, C.B.R. 25% (MIN)
SAND EMBANKMENT C.B.R. 10 % (MIN.)

Figure 3.2. Typical cross-section of the highway embankment on the soft Bangkok clay improved by the shallow
cement stabilization.

Figure 4. Plasticity Plots of the Bangkok clay at construction site (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).
Undrained Shear Strength (10 kPa)
0

3.0 %

12

16

20

3.0 %

UCS: Sta. 0+250

Depth (m)

8
12

UCS: Sta. 2+000


UCS: Sta. 3+000
UCS: Sta. 4+000
UCS: Sta. 4+975

16

UCS: Sta. 6+300


UCS: Sta. 7+250

20
EXISTING ROADWAY
5 CM. WEARING COURSE (AC. 60-70)
5 CM. BINDER COURSE (AC. 60-70)
20 CM. CRUSHED ROCK SOIL AGGREGATE TYPE BASE GRADE
A OR B ON LC.B.R. 80 % (MIN.)
20 CM. SOIL AGGREGATE SUBBASE GRADE A, B OR C
ONLY, C.B.R. 25% (MIN)
SAND EMBANKMENT C.B.R. 10 % (MIN.)

UCS: Sta. 1+000

24

FVT: Sta. 1+000


FVT:Sta. 4+975
FVT: Sta. 6+300

28

Figure 3.3. Typical cross-section of the highway embankment on the soft Bangkok clay improved by the deep mixing
cement column.

Figure 5. Undrained shear strength of the Bangkok clay at


Construction site by unconfined compression and field vane
shear tests (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).

Three In-situ field vane shear tests were tested on


this investigation in the following stations: 1+000,
4+975, and 6+300. Undrained shear strength profile
is shown in Figure 5. The undrained shear strength in
figure 5 is uncorrected undrained shear strength; however, strength tests by unconfined compression test
are approximately the same as those by field vane
shear tests. On the embankment stability evaluation,
the undrained shear strength obtained from field vane
shear tests is corrected by following the suggestion of
Bjerrum in 1972.

LABORATORY AND FIELD


INVESTIGATIONS

Most of the laboratory investigations were performed


by Pyramid Development International (PDI), Co.,
Ltd., in which laboratory investigations are Atterberg
limits, unconfined compression tests, and consolidation tests. Additional laboratory triaxial tests were
performed at the Bureau of Road Research and Development, Department of Highways. Atterberg limit
results and undrained shear strength from unconfined
compression tests are shown in figure 4 and 5, respectively. The liquidity index of the soft Bangkok clay is
almost indentity. Soil classifications of the Bangkok
clay are CH and CL for soft and medium stiff layers, respectively. The initial void ratio and compression
Index profiles from consolidation tests are shown in
figure 6 and 7 respectively.

Eight total pressure cells, six piezometers, six vertical inclinometers, four horizontal inclinometers, three
rod extensometers, and twelve settlement plates have

124

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

GEOTECHNICAL INSTRUMENTATIONS

Initial Void Ratio


0

160
4

y = 111.4x
R2 = 0.4

140

0
120

E50 (MPa)

Depth (m.)

8
12

100
80
60

16
40
20
24

BH-2
BH-6

20

BH-7

28

0.25

0.5

0.75

1.25

1.5

UCS (MPa)

Figure 6. Inital void ratio profile of the Bangkok clay at


construction site (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).
Initial Void Ratio
0

Figure 8. Secent modulus at 50 percent of the maximum


compressive strength of samples prepared in laboratory aged
28 days (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).

0
80
4

y = 68.4x
R2 = 0.8

70
60
12

E50 (MPa)

Depth (m.)

16
20
24
28

BH-2
BH-6

50
40
30
20

BH-7

10

Figure 7. Compression Index profile of the Bangkok clay


at construction site (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).

0
0

been installed in all three sections in order to surveil the


highway embankment performances during and after
construction. The instrumentation layouts for all three
stations is shown in Apimeteetamrong et al. (2006).
Department of highways contracted the geotechnical instrumentations and monitors to the PDI Co.,
Ltd. and Soil Testing Siam (STS) Co., Ltd. Horizontal inclinometer and settlement plate measurements
are performed by technical staffs from Department of
highways.
4

SOFT CLAY IMPROVEMENT TECHNIQUES

Since the shear strength resistance of the soft Bangkok


clay is substantial low (see figure 5), three ground
improvement techniques are introduced to the reconstructed highway route number 3117. These ground
improvement techniques are deep mixing cement
column, shallow cement stabilization, and 270-day
preloaded methods.

0.5

0.75

1.25

UCS (MPa)

Figure 9. Secent modulus at 50 percent of the maximum


compressive strength of samples aged 28 days cored from
the construction site (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).

The deep mixing cement column by dry process is


applied; moreover, the length, diameter, and spacing
of the cement columns are 14, 0.6, and 1.5 meters,
respectively. According to the DOH standard specification, the undrained shear strength of the improved
clay samples should be more than 300 kPa. Following
the trial mix design, the minimum required cement
content at the construction is 200 kg/m3 to achieve the
DOH standard (Hem et al, 2004). The secant moduli at
50 percent of the maximum compressive strength are
shown in figure 8 and 9.Testing results indicate that the
secant modulus of the samples prepared in laboratory
at age 28 days is almost twice of those cored from the
construction site.

125

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.25

40
1st Stage Fill

Soil Improvement Technique

Factor of Safety (F.S.)

Preload
Shallow Cement Stabilization
Deep Mixing Cement Column

1.7
3.9
3.4

Settlement at t (cm.)

Table 1. The safety factor of the slope stability analyses.

The preloaded embankment height is 0.5 meter


without PVD installation. Due to the construction
delay, the preloaded time was over the specified period.
For the shallow cement stabilization, this soil improvement technique has never applied to any constructions of highway embankments in Thailand before.
Following the DOH specification for the subgrade
stabilization, the unconfined compressive strength of
the cement stabilized samples should be more than
600 kPa. DOH engineers who supervised this construction project performed the trial mix design. Based
on the trial mix design, the required ratio between
cement and dry weight of soil aggregate at the construction site is 1.75 percent in order to achieve the
specified compressive strength (Hem et al., 2004).
5
5.1

1-1 Line
20

10

0
0

10

20

30

40

Settlement at t-1 (cm.)

Figure 10. Total settlement evaluation of the shallow stabilized section following the Asaoka method (after Apimeteetamrong et al., 2006).
Table 2. Total settlement evaluation from various methods.
Evaluation Methods

HIGHWAY EMBANKMENT
PERFORMANCES

Soil Improvement Technique

Terzaghi

Asaoka

FEM

Preload
Shallow Cement
Stabilization
Deep Mixing Cement
Column

63
51

50
35

50
48

21

22

Unit: cm

Stability evaluation analyses

The method of slides so called the Bishop method


is selected to evaluate the stability of the highway
embankments on the improved soft Bangkok clay.
Slope stability analysis results of each embankment
are shown in Table 1.
5.2

2nd Stage Fill

30

Table 3. Engineering properties for the Bangkok clay used


in finite element analyses.

Settlement evaluation

Three methods are chose to evaluate the total settlements of highway embankments. On the finite element
method, the model to calibrate the soft Bangkok clay
is Cam-Clay model, whereas the Asaokas method
(1978) is based on settlement measurements from
the construction site. The total settlement evaluation of the shallow stabilized section following the
Asaoka method is shown in figure 10. Total settlement
evaluation results are shown in Table 2.

Unit
Depth Weight
(m)
(kN/m3 )

eo

Cc

0-15
15-28

3
2

1.8 0.35 0.78 0.150 7*1010


1.2 0.15 0.52 0.065 7*1010

16
18

Cr

k
(m/sec)

and time rate settlement resulting from the finite element analysis for the deep mixing cement column. On
the deep mixing cement column, the permeability of
cement columns used in the finite element analysis is
1000 times that of the Bangkok clay.

5.3 Time rate settlement

5.4 Horizontal displacement

The engineering properties of the Bangkok clay


adopted in the finite element analyses are shown in
Table 3. Field measurements and theoretical evaluations from finite element analyses of the time
rate settlement due to the highway construction are
shown in Figure 11 and Figure 12 for the 270-day
preloaded and shallow cement stabilization sections,
respectively. Figure 13 shows the field measurement

Field measurements of horizontal displacements for


the 270-day preloaded section are shown in figure 14.
Maximum displacements for 270-day preloaded, shallow cement stabilization and deep mixing cement
column are around 120, 100, and 100 mm, respectively
(Field data at 17/08/2005). Maximum horizontal displacement is occurred at around 8 to 10 meters from
the previous embankment level for all sections. Finite

126

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Time (years)
0

Lateral Deformation (mm.)


4

10

100

150

20
Cv, lab
2Cv, lab

30

Depth (m.)

Settlement (cm.)

50

4Cv, lab
40

10Cv, lab
Monitoring Data

50

15

20

Figure 11. Time rate settlements from field measurements


and finite element analyses with various coefficient of
permeability for 270-day preloaded section.

25

8/1/2004

4/2/2004

2/3/2004

1/4/2004

8/5/2004

8/7/2004

8/10/2004

15/2/2005

22/4/2005

17/8/2005

30

Time (years)
0

Figure 14. Field measurement of the horizontal movement


at the 270-day preloaded section.

Settlement (cm.)

0
10

Pore Water Pressure (kPa)

20

30

100

150

200

250

4/2/2004

Monitoring Data
Cv, lab
2Cv, lab
4Cv, lab
10Cv, lab

40

1/4/2004
5

Depth (m.)

50

Figure 12. Time rate settlements from field measurements


and finite element analyses with various coefficients of
permeability for shallow cement stabilization section.

5/8/2004
10

3/11/2004
22/4/2005

15

Hydrostatic

25

Figure 15. Pore water pressure reading from dummy


piezometers of the shallow cement stabilization section.

4
8

5.5 Water pressure distribution

12
16

5/6/2004

20

Time (year)

Settlement (cm.)

50

Finite Element Analysis


Monitoring Data

20

Figure 13. Time rate settlements from field measurements


and finite element analyses for deep mixing cement column
section.

element analysis results under-predict the horizontal


displacement especially the deep mixing cement column section, since 2D finite element analysis is
applied on this study and the inclinometers was
installed between cement columns.

Due to the influence of stress distribution from the


flood protection levee to dummy piezometers for the
shallow cement stabilization and 270-day preloaded
sections, excess pore pressure from highway embankment cannot be estimated; however, promising data are
the hydrostatic pressure deduction due to ground water
pumping as shown in figure 15. Hydrostatic pressure
deduction is not found in the 270-day preloaded and
deep mixing cement column sections since there is no
dense silty sand layer in those area, see figure 2. Excess
pore pressure distribution for deep mixing cement column section is shown in table 4. The dissipation of
the excess pore pressure matches the recent settlement measurements indicating insignificant further
increase in settlement, see figure 13.

127

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 4.

Excess pore water pressure dissipation.

Time (days)

Dissipation of excess pore water pressure


5 m 10 m.
15 m.
20 m.

0
38
105
198
262
351

0
47
57
73
84
98

5.6

0
57
79
88
92
98

0
20
47
62
64
67

0
59
88
98
98
99

Stress distribution on the cement columns

The highway embankment of this section is 1.5 meter


thick. Four Total pressure cells were installed on and
between cement columns. Stress distributions from
highway embankment thru cement columns are 66%
and 55% for the heads of cement columns at level
1 and 0 m, respectively. Low stress distributions to
cement columns coincide with high lateral movements
measured from vertical inclinometers. According to
stress distribution measurements, a stiff layer between
highway embankment and cement column heads is
required to sufficiently transfer embankment loads to
cement columns.

CONCLUSION

The performance of highway embankments with different soil improvement techniques including 270-day
preloaded technique, shallow cement stabilization and
deep mixing cement column is evaluated. The basic
soil properties used in the evaluation of embankment
performance were evaluated by using geotechnical
laboratories and in-situ soil testing techniques.
The relationship between plastic limit and the liquid limit for the Bangkok clay is bounded between the
U-line and A-line. The undrained shear strength of the
Bangkok clay in this area is around 20 kPa for the soft
Bangkok clay and increases with respect to depth for
stiff Bangkok clay. The initial void ratio is about 2.5
to 4 and tends to decrease with respect to depth. At
the depth of 0 to 20 m., the compressibility index is
about 1.5 to 2.8. The compressibility index tends to
decrease with depth when below 20 meters from the
ground level.
The measurements of total pressure cells, piezometers, inclinometers, settlement plates, and rod extensometers installed in the soils beneath the embankment were obtained. The highway embankment performances including stability analyses, settlement
evaluation, time rate settlement, horizontal displacement, water pressure distribution, and stress distribution were performed by comparing the results from

the filed measurement together with the results from


various methods including finite element analyses
(FEA). With some adjustments on the engineering
properties of the soft Bangkok, finite element analyses provide good estimated settlement of highway
embankment. From the slope stability analyses, it is
found that the factors of safety corresponded to three
soil improvement techniques are different. Shallow
cement stabilization tends to provide higher F.S. than
deep mixing cement column and 270-day preloads
techniques, respectively. Horizontal displacement is
expected to occur in the shallow cement stabilization and deep mixing cement column section even
though the safety factor is high. However, deep mixing
cement column method tends to provide the effectiveness in preventing the exceeded total settlement of the
highway embankment.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This investigation report is entirely dedicated to Dr.
Teerachati Ruenkrairergsa, who devoted his entire life
for road research works in the Road Research and
Development Center, Department of Highways, before
his untimely passed away in 2003. He has done a lot of
valuable researches in Geotechnical Engineering especially in the area of soil improvement. The Authors
wish to express the profound gratitude to Dr. Teeracharti Ruenkrairergsa for his suggestion, guidance,
and recommendation during his time at Department
of Highways; Mr. Wanchai Mahaveera, KlogdanBangbor project engineer; Mr. Pattana Kopol; and
Mr. Komkrit Deejangpak, for their helps during the
geotechnical instrumentations and measurements. In
addition, the authors would like to thank Mr. Sawat
Srimuangnon for providing the finite element computer program on this study. The authors would like
to thank all the technical staffs at Bureau of Road
Research and Development, Department of Highways,
Thailand for their diligence work in field.
REFERENCES
Apimeteetamrong, S., Sunitsakul, J., and Wachiraporn, S.
2006. The engineering behavior of highway embankments on soft clay during construction of highway number
3117 KlongDan BangBor, Bureau of Road Research
and Development, Department of Highways, Thailand (In
preparation; In Thai).
Asaoka, A., 1978. Observational procedure of settlement
prediction, Soils and Foundations, Vol. 18, pp. 87101.
Bjerrum, L. 1972. Embankments on soft ground, ASCE Conf.
On Performance of Earth and Earth-Supported Structures,
Vol. 2, pp.154.
Hem, NG., Ploykragang, V., Kopol, W., and Janhiran, J., 2004.
Soil improvements at the KlongDan BangBor highway
construction project, Bureau of Materials, Analysis, and
Inspection, Department of Highways, Thailand (In Thai).

128

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Geogrid-reinforced roadway embankment on soft soils: A case study


Reinaldo Vega-Meyer
M.ASCE, Member NAGS; Senior Project Manager-International Division; Tensar Earth Technologies,
Inc., Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

Roberto Sosa Garrido


QC and Pavement Director; Escopo, S.A. de C.V., Mexico City, Mexico

Alberto Ramrez Piedrabuena


Project-Studies Director; Escopo, S.A. de C.V., Mexico City, Mexico

Ignacio Narezo Larios


Customer Support; Tensar Earth Technologies, Inc., Mexico City, Mexico

Ramn Pico Lapuente


Highway and Special Projects Engineer; Obrascn Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL), Madrid, Espaa

ABSTRACT: Building earth structures on soft soils is one of the toughest challenges in civil engineering.
Due to the fill embankment and surcharges, the settlements associated to the overburden pressures are one of
the major concerns in roadway embankment construction. Several methods of support improvement have been
in practice for years (e.g. excavation/fill replacement, stone filling, Corduroy, etc.), but recently, geosynthetic
reinforcement has been successfully incorporated as an efficient way to improve the weak soil conditions. This
paper focuses on a case study that introduces a geogrid-reinforced roadway embankment located in the Texcoco
Lake, near Mexico City, Mexico. The structure consists of an embankment with variable heights to be built in
two different conditions: dry and saturated. The most critical section was in the saturated zone (lake) where
the maximum embankment height was 2.80 m and the water level was at 1.80 m, leaving only 1.0 m of dry
embankment body. The embankment was built on highly compressible saturated clay layers up to 40.0 m deep,
and moisture of up to 300%.
The paper presents project design information, settlement observations, and performance evaluation. The performance of the embankment was observed during and after construction using inclinometers, and deep and surface
surveying equipment. A presentation of this performance and results about the predicted vs. actual embankment
settlements are included in the paper.

INTRODUCTION

Building embankment structures over weak soils have


always been an engineering challenge especially when
the subsoil is saturated or as water levels fluctuate and
raise several centimeters above the original subgrade
surface or base of the embankment.
A typical solution for providing a competent foundation structure is excavation and, in some cases, overexcavation and replacement with selected fill material.
This procedure translates into more construction time,
more equipment, more labor involved, and at the end,
is more expensive. This construction methodology has
been in practice for decades but in recent years this has
been gradually changing. Not only the stability of the

embankment has been an issue, its settlement has, as


well. Therefore, a competent support system must be
supplied in order to obtain controlled settlements and
appropriate internal and global stability.
A conventional embankment on soft soil has some
typical modes of potential failures (see Figure 1) such
as: bearing capacity, global stability, elastic deformation/settlement, pull-out or anchorage, and lateral
spreading.
The inclusion of geosynthetic reinforced materials
in civil works is now more common and is expanding
due to the research and development of MSE structures
and foundation improvement systems. Using materials with the proper characteristics to provide the
improvement needed is key. Therefore a structurally

129

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 1. Potential failure modes of embankments on weak


soils (after Koerner et al., 1987).

formed geosynthetic with high flexural rigidity and


aperture stability is most appropriate under critical
conditions of high stresses from the embankment and
low bearing capacity from the subgrade. The geosynthetic known as geogrid has different orientation
strengths: one direction (Uniaxial) or two directions
(Biaxial); the case presented in this paper was constructed using Biaxial Geogrids, BX1200 (Type I) and
BX1100 (Type II) as geosynthetic reinforcement.

2
2.1

CASE STUDY
General project information

As a consequence of Mexico becoming a member of


NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), a
different vision on Export and Import issues emerged;
therefore it was necessary to plan a feasible way to provide a route for the increase of heavy trucks carrying
different type of goods.
The presented roadway project is called Circuito
Exterior Mexiquense, CEM, (Mexican Outer Circuit)
and is part of a large project where the government
is trying to facilitate and alleviate the heavy traffic
from the Atlantic to the northern part of the country.
This roadway is classified by the SCT (Secretara de
Comunicaciones y Transporte, or Communications
and Transport Secretariat) as a SCTA4, whereA stands
for High Specifications, and 4 stands for Four lanes.
The first stage of the project started in 2003 and this
case study was part of it beginning its construction at
the end of 2003 and finishing during the first half of
2004. The second stage of the project has been completed at the time this paper is being written, and it was
inaugurated at the end of June, 2004.
This part of the project (15 KM) is located between
the cities of Ecatepec and Texcoco inside the State of
Mexico, and the studied case is specifically located in
the surroundings of the Texcoco Lake (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Location of part of the CEM project (case study


location is circled).

2.2 Subsurface conditions


The conditions encountered on site were extremely difficult and not suited to support any kind of structure,
therefore the original solution was over-excavation and
replacement with imported-selected material. Looking at one of the boring logs (SM-3) supplied by the
soil laboratory and summarized in Table 1, it was
found a soft surficial frosted (desiccated as a consequence of long term sun exposure) clay layer from
0.0 m2.40 m deep, from 2.4 m24.8 m a soft clay
layer (CH), from 24.8 m30.0 m a stiff layer of clay
(CH), and from 30.0 m40.0 m it was found a layer of
clay (CH) with medium consistency. The exploration
stopped at 40.0 m deep where a better soil consistency
was found (N = 50).
Some zones were completely saturated (under
water), making the construction of the embankment
to support the roadway difficult. The option to relocate the new roadway was considered, but the costs
were excessive.
In the next pages the analyzed section will be presented, and how the final section was design in order to
build a reliable embankment on these very weak soils,
providing first a stable working platform allowing the
construction of the body of the embankment, and the
flexible pavement structure.
2.3 Analysis and design
Basically, three types of analyses were considered to
govern the stability of the embankment in this case:
bearing capacity, global stability, and settlements. The

130

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

Boring Log No. SM-3 Subsoil properties.

B.L
No.

DEPTH
m

AVG
N

SOIL TYPE
USCS

cfound
kPa

( )

Gw
%

SM-3

0.02.4
2.46.2
6.29.7
9.713.0
13.016.5
16.519.7
19.723.3
23.333.1
33.136.5

3
0
0
0
0
0
0
29.5
5.5

CH
CH
CH
CH
CH
CH
CH
CH
CH

2.6
6.9
7
4.7
5.5
6.4
4.8
5.3
3.3

24.5
19.6
26.5
19.6
42.1
50
59.8
44.1
56.8

5.2
2.4
0.3
3.2
2.6
1
6.8
6.5
15.7

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

The analysis was done using commercial type software (G-Slope) that uses the Modified Bishop method
of analysis which takes into account this kind of circular failures throughout the system being analyzed.
Figure 3 shows the output screen graph for one of
the saturated sections analyzed and displaying the
minimum Factor of Safety of 1.169 related to the
potential failure circle for one of the analyzed sections
under seismic conditions with a horizontal acceleration design coefficient of 0.13 g. In the analysis
process two different conditions were considered: saturated (this condition controlled the design) where the
embankment is flooded, and dry (unsaturated) where
the embankment is above the water table.
Figure 3. Global stability analysis of a section in saturated
conditions.

original proposed maximum embankment height was


2.8 m (to reach the designed roadway elevation), with
3H:1V side slopes and a 23.0 m crest width.
Bearing Capacity: There is a limit of the embankment
height that can be placed on a given subgrade without
reinforcement (geogrid). Using conventional geotechnical engineering theory it was found that the existing
subgrade was unable to withstand the stresses generated by the embankment. Following is an illustrative
example of one of the preliminary analyses done on a
particular section based on boring log SM-3 (Table 1);
H = 2.8 m; FSreq = 2.0; Clay layer thickness, D = 7 m;
Fill Unit Weight, f = 17.5 kN/m3 ; cfoundation = 19.6 kPa
Bearing Capacity Factors: Unreinforced, Ncu = 4.25,
Reinforced, Ncr = 5.82 (Bonaparte & Christopher,
1987)
Then, FSu = c.Ncu /f . H = 1.7 < 2.0 (LOW), and
FSr = c.Ncr /f .H = 2.3; OK.
Global Stability: Deep seated circular failures are also
common in these types of structures due to the lack
of support from the foundation soil and the overburden stresses exerted by the new mass on top of it. The
embankment mass tends to rotate in part or as a whole
as a consequence of the poor resistance of the subsoil.

Settlements: In addition to the stability of the embankment, settlements were one of the most important
issues in this project because this new fill must support
an important highway.
Using conventional geotechnical methods (e.g. onedimensional analysis), and based on test results (e.g.
boring log SM-3 shown in table 3) it was estimated that
the settlements fluctuate approximately 40% to 70%
of the embankment height.
Due to different fill materials on site (Tezontle &
Gravelly soil), it was necessary to do the analyses
using a unit weightAverageValue of 17.5 kN/m3 for the
material identified as Tezontle (volcanic lightweight
material), that is an increase of 59% over the original
project specified value of 11.0 kN/m3 . The settlement
analyses were done based on boring log SM-3 (Table
1) and two specific sections:
a) KM137 + 520 Dry zone
b) Rama 600 (KM600 + 117 KM600 + 317) Saturated zone
Taking in account the above-mentioned variation,
settlement-time graphs were prepared to show four
different curves identified as follows:
1) Project Conditions: according to project requirements
2) Unfavorable Condition: unit weights are higher
than project specifications

131

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

t (years)
Settlement (cm)

0.0

5.0

10.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

30.0

35.0

40.0

20.0
70.0
120.0
170.0
Unfavorable Condition

Favorable Condition

Project Conditions

Average

Figure 6. Final designed and built section of the roadway


embankment.
Table 2.

Figure 4. Settlement vs. time for KM 137 + 520.

Fill material properties.

Material

, kN/m3

, deg

c, kPa

Tezontle
Gravelly soil

14.0
21.0

34.0
38.0

0.0
0.0

Settlement (cm)

t (years)
20.0
100.0
180.0
260.0
340.0

0.0

5.0

10.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

30.0

35.0

40.0

Unfavorable Condition

Favorable Condition

Project Conditions

Average

The designed and built section is shown in Figure 6


and It consists of variable height up to 2.8 m, a crest
width of 23 m, and side slopes from 3H:1V to 2H:1V,
containing the following materials:

2.4 Designed embankment section

a) A layer of Type I Biaxial Geogrid (BX) was placed


over a non-woven polyester geotextile, 270 gr/m2
(8.0 oz./sy) placed on top of the original subgrade. The geogrid overlaps were 1.0 m, and side
embankment slopes of 3H:1V.
b) A variable thickness layer of free draining granular
fill identified on-site as Black Tezontle (volcanic
lightweight material) was placed on top of the Biaxial Geogrid. This fill thickness depended on the
maximum water level (submerged fill).
c) A second layer of a Biaxial Geogrid (BX), Type
II, was placed on top of the compacted granular
Tezontle, with geogrid overlaps of 0.8 m.
d) A layer of Tezontle with variable thickness, was
placed on top of the biaxial geogrid (Type II) as
most part of the embankment body (about 70% of
the embankment body).
e) Gravelly material was then placed besides the
Tezontle to conform the lateral parts of the
embankment body. The purpose of placing this
material was to alleviate the normal embankment
deformation in its bottom center and help to it to
deform more uniformly by reducing differential
settlements below the embankment).

Several options were originally considered to enable


the embankment to be built on the very soft soil: excavating some of the soft soil and replacing it with select
fill, mixing cobles into the weak subsoil to improve
bearing capacity, driving wooden piles, and building an
embankment with fill having different unit weights in
order to control differential settlements. After a Value
Engineering (VE) process, it was determined that the
solution chosen should be the easiest, fastest and most
reliable.
Therefore, the proposed reinforced embankment
was submitted to the owners consultants for review.

Note that in the preliminary bearing capacity analysis


and for the global failure analysis of the embankment
section an average value of = 17.5 kN/m3 was used
taking into account the two types of fill used for construction (Tezontle + Gravelly soil as seen in Figure 6
above). The fill and geogrid material properties are
presented in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.
The properties for the integrally formed geogrid
material used in the design are shown in Table 3; both
are biaxial oriented polypropylene grids.
The construction of the embankments started in
October, 2003, and finished in March, 2004. An

Figure 5. Settlement vs. time for Rama 600.

3) Favorable Condition: unit weights are lower than


project specifications
4) Average: unit weight average value between (2) and
(3)
The following Figure 4 shows the predicted settlements
over time for the monitored embankment section
identified as KM 137 + 520.. It was estimated that
settlements of 30 cm would occur in six months and
settlements of 41 cm in one year. Figure 5 shows
the predicted settlements over time for the monitored
embankment section identified as Rama 600. It was
estimated that settlements of 67.3 cm would occur in
six months and 97 cm in one year.
It is clearly noted from the above graphs/figures
that the adverse unit weight changes (taken herein as
an average value) directly affects the embankment
settlements where an increment of up to 32% for KM
137 + 520, and an increment of up to 27% for Rama
600 were calculated.

132

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 3.

Geogrid reinforcement properties.

Table 4.

Property

Units

Type II

Type I

Aperture
Stability
Modulus at
20 cm-kg
Rib Shape

cm-kg/deg

3.2

6.5

Rib Thickness
Nominal
Aperture
Size
Junction
Efficiency
Flexural
Rigidity
Minimum
True Initial
Modulus in
Use
MD
CMD

BENCH MARKS
(BNF N )
EMBK KM

N/A
mm
mm

Rectangular
or Square
0.76
2533

Rectangular
or Square
1.27
2533

93

93

mg-cm

250,000

750,000

1
2
3

REINFORC.
TYPE
Center

146 + 085 BX Grid


146 + 135 BX Grid +
Geotextile
146 + 185 Unreinforced
146 + 235

1&2
3, 4 &
5
6, 7 & 8
9, 10 &
13

Shoulder
Right
Left
18 & 19

11 & 12

15

16 &
17

14 &

BNF1
BNF2

BNF19
BNF18
BNF3
BNF4
BNF5

BNF17
BNF16
Open Piezo.
Pneumatic Piezo.

kN/m
kN/m

250
400

410
620

BNF1
BNF11
BNF12

MD: Machine Direction of the roll


CMD: Cross Machine Direction of the roll

BNF9
BNF10
BNF13

additional embankment fill height of 0.40 m was taken


into account and at the end of September 2004 (six
months later), construction started on the pavement
structure.

Field instrumentation layout and


observations

Inclinometer

BNF15
BNF14

Figure 7. Locations of: BNF1 to BNF19, Piezometers EP1,


EP2, & EP3, and Inclinometers located on the Dry zone
embankments.

for dry zone followed by those for the saturated


zone.

To monitor the embankment behavior and performance


during and after construction, pore water pressures,
lateral displacements and settlements were monitored.
Some instrumentation used for these purposes was:
A. Surveying: to monitor settlements (Bench marks
identified hereto as BNF and BNF-RP) for dry and
saturated locations respectively.
B. Piezometers
C. Inclinometers
A. Bench marks (BNF) surveying
Some of the BNFs were removed/destroyed during
construction and their readings were taken for only
a short period of time. Therefore, the readings considered in this case study are:

BNF1 to BNF6 for the Dry zone readings taken


during 7.4 months.
BNF-RP4, BNF-RP6, and BNF-RP9 for the Saturated zone readings taken during 5.5 months.
The above-mentioned information will be presented
by zones, beginning with the information and results

Dry zone

Table 4 shows the instrumented embankments located


in the dry zone, their location (by stations), Bench
Mark (BNF) numbers, and type of reinforcement if
any. The BNFs reported in this case study are shown
in bold print.
Figure 7 shows the bench marks identified as
BNF, from BNF1 to BNF19 installed on the
embankment located on the dry zone, between
KM146 + 060 & KM146 + 260. The readings were
taken for a different number of days (e.g. BNF1-BNF6:
221 days; BNFs 7,8,10,13 & 15: 155 days; BNFs 9,
11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18 & 19: 141 days) from December
2003 to July 2004.
Figures 8 and 9 show the results of the survey readings done on Embankments 1, 2, and 3 from BNF1
through BNF6 at the locations shown on Table 4 previously. A summary of this data is presented in Table 5.

Saturated zone

Table 5 shows the instrumented embankments located


(by stations) in the saturated zone. The bench marks

133

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

BNF7
BNF8
BNF6

Bench Marks (BNF)

2.5

Instrumented embankments on dry zone.

2229.40
2229.30
2229.20

ELEVATION (m)

2229.10
2229.00
BNF2
2228.90
2228.80
2228.70
2228.60

Open Piezo.
Pneumatic Piezo.

2228.50
2228.40
BNF1

2228.30

2228.20
1-Dec-03 1-Jan-04 1-Feb-04 1-Mar-04 1-Apr-04 1-May-04 1-Jun-04 1-Jul-04 1-Aug-04 1-Sep-04

Inclinometer

DATE

Figure 10. BNF-RP1 to BNF-RP12, Piezometers EP4 &


EP5, and Inclinometers located on the Saturated zone
embankments.

Figure 8. Survey readings for BNF1 & BNF2.


2229.40
2229.30
2229.20
2229.10
BNF3

ELEVATION (m)

2229.00

2229.00

2228.90

BNF4

2228.90

2228.80

2228.80

2228.70
BNF5

2228.60

2228.70
BNFRP6

2228.50
2228.60
2228.30

ELEVATION (m)

2228.40
BNF6

2228.20
2228.10
2228.00
1-Dec-03

1-Jan-04

1-Feb-04 1-Mar-04

1-Apr-04 1-May-04

1-Jun-04

1-Jul-04

1-Aug-04

2228.50
BNFRP4

2228.40
2228.30
2228.20

1-Sep-04

DATE

2228.10
BNFRP9
2228.00

Figure 9. Survey readings for BNF3, BNF4, BNF5, &


BNF6.
Table 5.

2227.90
2227.80
1-Dec-03

EMBK KM

1-Feb-04 1-Mar-04

1-Apr-04 1-May-04
DATE

1-Jun-04

1-Jul-04

1-Aug-04

1-Sep-04

Instrumented embankments on saturated zone.


Figure 11. Survey readings for BNF-RP4, BNF-RP6 &
BNF-RP9.

BENCH MARKS
(BNF-RP N )

1-Jan-04

REINFORC.
TYPE
Center

600 + 174 BX Grid +


Geotextile
600 + 227 Unreinforced
600 + 288

Shoulder
Right
Left

6, 7, 8,
9 & 10
1, 2 & 3

There are some interesting findings derived from


previous Table 6:

4&5
11 &
12

(BNF-RPs) reported in this case study are shown in


bold print.
Figure 10 shows the bench marks identified as
BNF-RP, from BNF-RP1 to BNF-RP12 installed
on the embankment located on the saturated (flooded)
zone, between KM600 + 117 & KM600 + 317, (Rama
600).
The following Figure 11, shows the results of the
survey readings taken on Embankments 5 and 6 from
BNF-RP4, BNF-RP6, and BNF-RP9 at the locations
shown on Table 5. A summary of these curves are presented in Table 6 with an interpretation of the results
as well.
All of the above presented settlements from the surveying point readings are summarized and compared
between the theoretical, maximum average, and cumulative average values in Table 6 (embankment #4 was
not taken into account).

a. On the Dry zone, the maximum settlements


(between 12/02/03 and 7/09/04) that occurred at the
middle of the embankments are less on Embankment 2 (reinforced with BX grid and geotextile-as
a filter, than Embankment 1 (reinforced with BX
grid), and Embankment 3 (unreinforced). The difference is about 27% between the lower (10.7cm)
and the cumulative average settlements are slightly
less than the Maximum Average settlements.
b. On the Saturated (flooded) zone, the maximum
settlements (between 1/23/04 and 7/09/04) that
occurred at the middle of the embankments are
less for Embankment 5 (reinforced with BX grid
and geotextile-as a filter, than for Embankment 6
(unreinforced). The difference is about 4% between
the lower (14.6 cm) and the higher (15.2 cm) settlement. It is also noted that the cumulative average
settlements are slightly less than the maximum
average settlements.
c. The embankments located in the dry zone settled
less than those on the saturated zone even under a
shorter survey-reading period of time, as expected.
d. As this paper is being written, there is a good performance in Embankments 2 and 5 (reinforced with

134

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 6.

Summary of results from survey readings.

ZONE

EMBK

DRY

1
2
3
5
6

FLOODED

FROM
THEORET.
(%)

CUMULATIVE
AVG3 (cm)

FROM
THEORET.
(%)

11.4
10.7
14.7
14.6
15.2

27
25
34
34
35

10.1
10.5
14.7
13.5
15.2

23
24
34
31
35

Settlement calculated from standard consolidation theories. The effect of reinforcement is not considered.
Maximum average value from different survey readings (BNFs) of a certain embankment.
Average of settlement readings of an embankment, from data between the initial and final reading reported.

Pore Pressure (kg/cm2)

43

MAX.
AVERAGE2
(cm)

60.00

60

50.00

50
Pore Pressure (Kg/cm2)

THEORETICAL1
(cm)

40.00
30.00
20.00

40
30
20
10

10.00
0
0

0.00
0

50

100

150

200

Depth:14.55m

Time(days)
Depth:14.5m

Depth:38.5m

Depth:54.5m

Pore Pressure (kg/cm2)

60
50
40
30
20
10
0
50

100

150

200

250

Time (Days)
Depth:14.5m

Depth:27m

Depth:38.5m

Depth:54.5m

Figure 13. Pore pressure data from piezometer EP2 Dry


zone.

BX Geogrid and geotextile the later as a filter).


Therefore, this type of reinforcement was chosen
as a standard to be used in this project.
B. Piezometers (EP)
There were five piezometric stations (open and pneumatic type) monitored (see locations in Figures 7 and
10). Three were in the dry zone (EP1, EP2, and EP3
Figures 12, 13 and 14), and two were in the saturated
zone (EP4 and EP5). Figures 15a & 15b show the pore

131

82
13
26
Time (Days)

Depth:22.65m

08

8 160 222

Depth:38.5m

Depth:53.45m

pressure behavior at different depths. The gaps in the


curves mean that no readings were taken on those days.
On January 12, 2004, the open piezometer stations
were cleaned (injecting pressured water through the
piezometer from the surface) ; this is the reason for
the change on the curve shape after the 66th day of
readings.
After June 8, 2004 (day 188), the pore pressure readings from EP2 to EP5 show an increase and then tend
to level off. It is also noted that this increase in the
pore pressure occurs as deep as 30.0 meters. Below
this depth, the pore pressure diminishes, probably due
to the presence of deep water pumps in the area.
Data is not available on site filling advance/progress.
It is known that the total embankment fill height plus
40 cm was placed (as a preload) with the intention of
leaving that section to settle for six months in order
to accelerate the initial consolidation. However, due to
time concerns the roadway embankment and pavement
structure was completed.
C. Inclinometers
Six Inclinometers were installed at the locations shown
in Figures 7 & 10, four on embankments located on dry
zone and two located on embankments on saturated

135

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 14. Pore pressure data from piezometer EP3 Dry


zone.

Figure 12. Pore pressure data from piezometer EP1 Dry


zone.

250

Pore Pressure (kg/cm2)

60.00
50.00
40.00
30.00
20.00
10.00
0.00
0

50

100
150
Time (Days)

(a)
Depth:14.5m

Depth:22.7m

200

Depth:36.7m

250
Depth:54.5m

Pore Pressure (kg/cm2)

60.00
50.00
40.00

Photo 1. Placement of the non-woven geotextile and biaxial


grid on top of the existing subgrade.

30.00
20.00
10.00
0.00

50

100
150
Time (Days)

200

250

(b)
Depth:14.8m

Depth:29.75m

Depth:37.2m

Depth:54.5m

Figure 15. (a), (b). Pore pressure data from piezometer


EP5 Saturated zone.
Table 7.

Inclinometer Results based on 26 days of readings.


MAXIMUM
MAXIMUM
RATE OF
DISPLACEMENT MOVEMENT
(mm)
(mm/month)

EMBK #
D
S

D
S

1
2
3
5
6

STAT.

AXIS A AXIS B

AXIS A AXIS B

146 + 085
146 + 135
146 + 210
600 + 174
600 + 261

11.66 10.44
9.57 4.72
37.55 28.42
102.40 15.14
83.29 45.42

18.43
5.51
149.03
50.43
79.47

Photo 2. Construction progress in saturated conditions


(note the two-type of fill materials).

14.15
9.55
142.08
30.70
51.77

Embankments on Dry zone


Embankments on Saturated zone

zone. The readings shown in Table 5 were taken from


January 7, 2004 to June 16, 2004.
The Inclinometers were used to check for the
magnitude, direction, and rate (velocity) of displacements developed at different depths. The following
table reports the cumulative average displacements by
Axis (or Center Line), zone, embankment number,
date, and rate of movement.
From Table 7 it is noted that the embankments
located on the dry zone such as #2 (reinforced with
BX geogrid and geotextile-as a filter, had the lowest magnitude and rate of displacement, followed
by embankment #1 (reinforced with BX geogrid),
and embankment #3 (unreinforced) which had
displacements 4 to 6 times more than the other two. All

the displacements occurred toward the water channel


named Canal del Dren General del Valle as expected.
Embankments #5 and #6 located on the saturated
zone, showed greater magnitude of displacements
compared to the embankments from the dry zone, but
they do not show any potential problem that might
affect the stability of the embankments in terms of
lateral displacements.
2.6 Installation
The installation of the geogrid reinforcements had
a very important role in the construction process
since they supplied a stable working platform. Adequate overlaps, medium size equipment, appropriate
fill material, and closed supervision are crucial when
building these types of structures on soft soils. Pore
water pressure must be observed and controlled to
avoid dangerous situations and critical failures.
Photos 1 4 illustrate part of the installation process
under saturated conditions.

136

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

3. The embankment reinforced with a geogrid only,


experienced an intermediate level of behavior and
performance.
4. The embankment settlements compared with the
theoretical values are 25%34% less for the
embankments in the dry zone, and 34%35% less
for the embankments in the saturated zone.
5. The initial pore pressure was increased to a depth
of 30.0 m due to the stresses induced by the application of the embankment fill and construction
equipment. It was noted that beyond 30.0 m this
pressure decreased, mainly because of the presence
of deep well water pumps in the area.
6. The unreinforced embankment had horizontal displacements that were four to six times greater than
those in the embankment reinforced with two layers
of BX geogrid and geotextile (the later as a filter).
7. The embankments located in the saturated zone
experienced greater displacements compared to
those located in dry zones, however their behavior
and performance are within limits.
8. Monitoring the test sections and other sections
located in zones with similar conditions should
continue to fully determine long term performance secondary consolidation will influence the
behavior of the embankments.
9. The inclusion of the BX geogrid and geotextileas a filter), placed on the original subgrade, made
possible the access to the saturated (flooded) zones
and the construction of the embankments.
10. At the time this paper is written (April, 2006), the
performance and behavior of the reinforced section
is satisfactory even though the actual TPDA (Average Annual Daily Traffic) is three times higher than
the estimated in the design:

Photo 3. Geogrid and fill placement under saturated


conditions.

Photo 4. Finished embankment section.

2.7

Cost effectiveness

This section of the project consisted on 15 KM of roadway embankments on weak soils, was constructed in
70% of the allotted time, (3 months ahead of schedule).
Consequently considerable monetary savings were
realized.

CONCLUSIONS

1. Based on the results from the instrumented sections, the maximum settlement occurred at the
center of the embankment.
2. The reinforced section where Geogrid Type I and
geotextile (the later as a filter) and Geogrid Type II
(second layer of reinforcement at higher elevation)
were used, performed best in terms of settlement
and stability; this condition allowed to create a
working reinforced platform, improving the poor
bearing capacity of the existing foundation soil.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Special acknowledgement to Geoproductos Mexicanos S.A. de C.V. (Mexico) for their contribution
in the geogrid/geotextile installation process and site
assistance during the first phase of the project that was
critical on the performance of the reinforced embankments; to the owners consultants Escopo, S.A. de C.V.
(Mexico), for taking the instrumentation readings and
for their efforts and help in providing all the data; and
to the contractor, Obrascn Huarte Lain (OHL), for
giving permission for the use of their proprietary information that helped in the preparation of this paper.
REFERENCES
Bonaparte, R., Christopher, B.R. (1987). Design and Construction of Reinforced Embankments Over Weak Foundations. Transportation Research Record 1153.

137

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

TPDA(design) = 18,000/day
TPDA(actual) = 60,000/day

British Standard (BS 8006:1994). Code Practice for


Strengthened/reinforced Soils and Other Fills. Document
No. 94/105986, UK.
Koerner, R.M. Designing with Geosynthetics. PrenticeHall Inc., Third edition, 1994.
Koerner, R.M. , Hwu, B.L., and Wayne, M.H., :Soft Soil
Stabilization Designs Using Geosynthetics, Jour. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Vol. 6, No. 13, 1987,
pp. 3352.
Milligan, V., La Rochelle, P. (1985). Design Methods for
Embankments over Soft Soils. Polymer grid reinforcement. Thomas Telford Ltd., London, 1985.
Milligan, V., Busbridge, J.R. (1983). Guidelines for the use
of Tensar in Reinforcement of Fills over Weak Foundations. Golder Associates, December, 1983.
Lockett, L., Mattox, R.M. (1987). Difficult Soil Problems on Cochrane Bridge Finessed with Geosynthetics.
Geosynthetic 87 Conference, New Orleans, USA.
Oliver, T.L.H., Younger, J.S. (1988). Embankment Construction over Soft Ground using Geogrid Reinforcement

Techniques. Roads, Highways and Bridges Conference,


Hong Kong, 2830 September, 1988.
Olson, R.E. (1998). Settlement of Embankments on Soft
Clays. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental
Engineering, August 1998.
Rico, A., Moreno, G., Garca, G. (1969). Test Embankments
on Texcoco Lake. XI International Conference of Soil
Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Mexico, 1969.
Rowe, R.K., Li, A.L. (2002). Geosynthetic-reinforced
Embankments over Soft Foundations. Geosynthetics
7th ICG Delmas, Gourc & Girard (2002).
Rowe, R.K., Li, A.L. (2002). Behaviour of Reinforcement
Embankments on Soft rate-sensitive Soils. Gotechnique
52, No. 1, 2940, 2002.
Williams, D., Sanders, R.L. (1985). Design of Reinforced
Embankments for Great Yarmouth By-pass. 11th Conference of the International Society for Soil Mechanics
and Foundation Engineering, San Francisco, CA (USA),
1115 August, 1985.

138

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Monitoring the staged construction of a submerged embankment on soft soil


W.F. Van Impe & R.D. Verstegui Flores
Laboratory of Geotechnics, Ghent University, Belgium

J. Van Mieghem & A. Baertsoen


Ministry of Flanders, Belgium

P. Meng
Dredging International, DEME Group, Belgium

ABSTRACT: The present paper illustrates the outcome of the monitoring of the consolidation behavior of a soft
foundation soil under a large partially submerged sand embankment. Measurements of settlements and excess
pore water pressures showed a good agreement with predictions evaluated using the large strain consolidation
theory. The more conventional small strain theory was shown to overestimate the dissipation of pore water
pressure and underestimate settlements.

INTRODUCTION

As in many harbor areas all around the world, the harbor of Antwerp is experiencing an increasing need
of room for storing excavated soil or dredged material resulting from internal construction projects and
maintenance of its waterways.
Such need has encouraged the design and currently ongoing construction of a partially submerged
embankment, with an approximate height of 27 m,
to divide an existing dock (Doel) and to use the
available space behind the embankment to deposit
dredged material (Fig. 1). The challenge of this
project was the fact that the embankment had to
be built on a very soft soil deposit (not removable
because of geoenvironmental considerations) which
is the result of years of sedimentation and self-weight
consolidation.

Figure 1 illustrates the final design choice out


of an optimization in which numerous preliminary
design option were worked out. Given the soft consistency and very low bearing capacity of the foundation
soil, it became clear that some kind of foundation
layer reinforcement was required. Therefore ground
improvement by a novel deep mixing technology, SSI
(Soft Soil Improvement), was proposed. A detailed
description of this technology and properties of the
treated soil were studied in detail by Van Impe &
Verstegui (2006).
As illustrated in the figure, only foundation soil at
the toes of the embankment was improved by installing
SSI deep mixing columns. These improved zones were
meant not only to provide extra safety but also to
confine the soft soil under the embankment.
A slope stability analysis showed, as expected, that
short-term stability (that is the construction phase)

Figure 1. Scheme of the partially submerged embankment design.

139

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

was the most critical. So, special measures had to be


taken to avoid early instability problems. Unavoidably,
a staged construction was implemented.
Since staged construction relies on the strength
increase of a foundation soil due to consolidation, an
accurate evaluation of the consolidation degree had to
be achieved. However, initial estimations of consolidation degree (at the design stage) showed a considerable
difference between the consolidation behavior of the
soft soil when implementing small strain consolidation
theories (e.g. Terzaghi) and large strain consolidation
(e.g. Gibson et al., 1967).
Before the initiation of construction works, instrumentation was mounted in the foundation layer to
allow the monitoring of excess pore water pressure
(PWP) and settlements due to the embankment load.
The outcome of these measurements during construction showed a good agreement with large strain
consolidation predictions.
The sand used for the construction of the embankment was mainly obtained from excavation works and
residues of the simultaneous construction of a dock
nearby. The sand was selected on the basis of its
grain size distribution and fines content so that optimum results of density and strength are obtained after
hydraulic placement. Up to now, about 70% of the total
height of the embankment has been reached and regular quality control by means of CPT has confirmed
the suitability of this material.

Physical properties of the soft soil.

Index

Value

Liquid limit (%)


Plastic limit (%)
Natural water content (%)
Organic matter (%)
Carbonate content (%)
Sand (%)
Wet density (g/cm3 )
pH of pore water

124.4
46.7
115.0
6.0
13.9
10.4
1.31.4
7.2

1.E-04
permeability
tests

Hydraulic conductivity (m/s)

1.E-05

1.E-06

1.E-07
CRS
1.E-08
Oedometer
tests

1.E-09

K = 6x10-12 e5.5174
R2 = 0.8812

1.E-10

1.E-11

SOIL PROPERTIES

10

15

Void ratio
(a)

1.E-07

1.E-08
Hydraulic conductivity (m/s)

The foundation soil of the embankment consists of a


8m layer of soft dredged material overlying a thin layer
of sand and a deep layer of Tertiary Boom clay (highly
overconsolidated).The foundation soil is located under
water at a depth of about 19 m.
The soft soil studied here is a soft deposit of
fine grained material, result of a prolonged sedimentation and self-weight consolidation process of
dregs removed from waterways within the harbor of
Antwerp. The consistency of the soil remained quite
soft even after attempts of accelerating its consolidation by means of vacuum. The natural water content of
the soil was of the order of 115%, the plasticity index
of the order of 77 and the organic content of about
6%. Table 1 summarizes more approximate physical
properties of this soil.
The initial in-situ undrained shear strength (cu ) of
this deposit of soft dredged material was estimated
by means of extensive laboratory and field testing. In
general, the average cu ranges from about 2 to 4 kPa
and it was observed to increase linearly with depth
suggesting that the deposit is mainly in a normally
consolidated state.
The consolidation behavior of the soft dredged
material was assessed by means of Constant Rate of

1.E-10

K = 6x10-8'v-1.1773
R2 = 0.7572
1.E-11
0

50

100

Vertical consolidation stress (kPa)


(b)

Figure 2. Consolidation properties of the soft soil.

140

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1.E-09

150

Strain (CRS) tests, hydraulic conductivity tests and


oedometer tests. Figure 2 summarizes the results of
all tests performed. Out of a fitting procedure, two
constitutive equations relating hydraulic conductivity
(K), void ratio (e) and effective stress (v ) could be
obtained (Eq. 1 & 2).
k = 6 108 v 1.18

(1)

k = 6 1012 e5.52

(2)

Although with some scatter (more pronounced in


the high void ratio zone), both equations attempt to
describe the consolidation behavior of the soil for
the full range of void ratio, starting from the freshly
sedimented situation.

Unconfined compressive strength (MPa)


0

10

IMPROVEMENT OF THE
FOUNDATION SOIL

The foundation soil (at the toes of the embankment)


was improved by implementing a novel deep mixing technique, the SSI (soft soil improvement). The
SSI technique could be classified as a wet deep mixing technique as it injects cement slurry. Moreover, it
makes use of pressurized mixing by means of a mixing tool provided with 2 sets of nozzles distributed all
along the full diameter of the column (Fig. 3). The mixing tool is fixed to a main drilling rod and each set of
nozzles is connected to independent injection systems.
A high-pressure injection system (of the order of 20
to 30 MPa) cuts the soil and allows for intense mixing
while the low pressure injection system (up to 5 MPa)
just adds the remaining amount of cement slurry to
fulfil the required dosage.
A quite important issue in the design of deep mixing
columns is the choice of cement. In order to do that an
extensive laboratory research was carried out aiming
at evaluating the improvement level of mixes with e.g.
Portland cements, Blast furnace cements and others
(Van Impe & Verstegui, 2006). Out of that research,
blast furnace cements were chosen as the most suitable for the improvement of the soft sludge. In fact,
portland cements were observed to quickly improve
the soil during the first month only. On the other hand,
blast furnace cement showed a slow but continuous
improvement that did not end even after about 2 years
reaching in the end a higher strength than Portland
cements. Blast furnace cements are also known to have
a better performance in marine environments.
The chosen cement was transformed into a slurry
(w/c ratio = 0.8) and injected during downwards and
upwards operation of the drilling rod to accomplish a
binder dosage of about 275 kg/m3 approximately.
The actual level of improvement in the site was
checked by testing of core specimens in the laboratory. The cores were sampled 56 days after installation

3
4

Dredged
material

5
6
7
8
Sand
9

Figure 4. Unconfined compressive strength of SSI column


core specimens (56 days after installation).

of the SSI columns. Figure 4 illustrates the results of


unconfined compression tests.
The actual improvement level proved quite satisfactory. The unconfined compressive strength in the
dredged material layer ranged from 1 to 5 MPa. Not
only the design strength was (by far) exceeded, but also
the strength out of laboratory tests which showed the
good performance of the implemented improvement
technique.
4

CONSTRUCTION OF EMBANKMENT

The underwater embankment is still under construction. Today, about 70% of the embankment height was
reached by staged construction. The embankment sand
was put in place in layers of about 2 m, allowing a
period of time in between (1 to 2 months). Currently,
a longer waiting period is being allocated to allow for
consolidation of the foundation soil.
The sand used for the filling operations was mainly
obtained from excavation works for the construction

141

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Depth (m)

Figure 3. SSI mixing tool.

Figure 5. Scheme in plan view of instrumentation location


(P: Pizometers; Z: Settlement profiles).
200

Construction
works
(Phase 1)

180

Excess pore water pressure


in the soft soil deposit under
the embankment

160
140
Excess PWP (kPa)

of a dock nearby in the harbor. The sand was selected


on basis of its grain size distribution and fines content. The selection of sand for the hydraulic filling
operations was very important to guarantee the shear
strength characteristics required for the stability of
the embankment. Tests and experience showed that
the execution procedure implemented here with the
selected sand would yield shear angles higher than 32
(cv
= 32 ).
As showed in figure 1, the embankment consists of
a geotextile reinforced sand. Moreover, the geotextiles
are anchored in geocontainers (3 m wide, 2 m high and
30 m long). The geocontainers were manufactured on
land nearby the dock with a sand-cement mixture.They
were transported and installed by means of a floating
crane. The geotextiles were fixed to the geocontainers
with steel reinforcement bars and then unrolled.
The hydraulic filling operations were carried out
with a fallpipe vessel provided with a 12 m-wide horizontal spreader beam. Sand mixed with water was
pumped from and on-land stock to the vessel. With this
system, depending on pumping flow rate and dynamic
positioning of the vessel, a sand layer with 1 m or 2 m
thickness can be uniformly applied.
The construction of the embankment was designed
in two main phases. Phase 1 (currently achieved) goes
up to the water level approximately (Fig. 1). Moreover,
Phase 2 goes up to 7 m above the water level approximately. Phase 2 can only be started as soon as an
adequate consolidation degree has taken place in the
foundation soil. Without any additional measures to
accelerate the consolidation rate of the foundation soil,
the waiting period for that may take a couple of years.

120
100

Consolidation

80

Excess PWP in the SSI improved


zone (between SSI columns) at
the toes of the embankment

60
40
20

MONITORING OF PWP AND SETTLEMENTS

Already before the initiation of construction works,


instrumentation was placed in the foundation layer to
allow the monitoring of excess pore water pressures
and vertical displacements under the embankment
load. This continuous monitoring was meant to provide
a means of following up the behavior of the foundation
soil at all times during the construction.
Piezometers (P) were installed mostly at 3 different
levels within the foundation layer at several locations
as illustrated by the plan view sketch in figure 5.
Piezometers in the SSI improved zones were installed
between SSI columns. Similarly, flexible tubes (Z1,
Z2, Z3 and Z4) filled with water were placed at 4
locations (on top of the foundation layer) across the
dock to monitor vertical displacements by measuring
hydraulic head changes with respect to a reference
level by means of a water pressure probe that is pulled
inside the tube along its full length.
Measurements of pore water pressure have been
automatically and continuously recorded, while

200

300

400

500

600

700

Time (days)

Figure 6. Excess pore water pressure measurements at


various locations under the embankment.

measurements of settlement profiles were performed


every 2 months approximately.
5.1 Excess pore water pressure measurements
Figure 6 summarizes the measurements of excess PWP
in the foundation soil during construction up to now.
As expected, there is a significant difference between
excess PWP measured in the soft soil deposit and
those measured in the SSI improved zone (between
stabilized columns). Such difference shows indeed
that columns in the improved zones are carrying a
significant portion of the load.
Looking at the measurements in the soft soil deposit
(Fig. 6) it is possible to clearly identify the loading
stages during the construction of Phase 1 that took

142

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

100

Time (days)
100

200

300

400

45
500

600

700
Average consolidation degree(%)

0
0

-0.5
Z4

Settlement (m)

-1
Z2
-1.5

Z2:Settlementofthesoft
soildepositunderthe
embankment

-2

Z4SettlementoftheSSIimprovedzoneunderthe
embankment

From Finite strain theories (settlements)


From Finite strain theories (PWP)
From Infinitesimal strain theories

40
35

Finite strain solution


(settlement)

30
25

Infinitesimal strain
solutions

20
15
10
Finite strain solution
(pore water pressure)

5
0
0

0.5

1
Time (year)

1.5

Figure 8. Large (finite) strain consolidation vs. small


(infinitesimal) strain consolidation solutions.

-2.5
Estimated final settlement under the current load
-3

Figure 7. Settlements under the current load.

about a year. During such period, the dissipation of


PWP was not that significant. Later, when all construction activities were stopped to allow for consolidation
of the foundation soil a more pronounced dissipation
was observed but still at a low level in the order of 10
to 15% only.
5.2

Settlements

Figure 7 illustrates the settlements along the settlement


tubes Z2 and Z4 (Fig. 5) on the soft soil deposit and
on the SSI improved zone respectively.
As expected, the largest settlements were observed
in the non-improved area where up to now settlements
in the order of 1.2 m to 1.3 m were measured. That is
already between 40 to 50% of the estimated final settlement under the current load. On the other hand, the
maximum measured settlements in the SSI improved
zone were in the order of 0.5 m.
5.3

Discussion on consolidation behavior

Out of measurements it was possible to establish that


the dissipation of pore water pressures and the progress
of settlements were not coupled.Almost two years after
the initiation of construction works, the observed dissipation level (consolidation degree) of PWP was in
the range of 10 to 15%, while in terms of settlements
40 to 50% of the final settlement occurred.
Such deviation of consolidation degrees evaluated
out of PWP and settlement do show that the consolidation behavior of this soft foundation layer cannot
be properly described by the simplified conventional
consolidation theory (e.g. Terzaghis theory).
However, when comparing the current measured consolidation degrees with those predicted
introducing the large strain theory (Gibson et al.,

1967), a much better match could be observed (Fig. 8).


The large strain consolidation theory is a more general
theory of one-dimensional consolidation.This analysis
overcomes the limitations that the conventional, small
strain, theory entails; but at the same time the problem becomes so complex that only numerical solutions
can be obtained for practical problems. The process of
large strain (finite strain) one-dimensional consolidation of a saturated porous medium is governed by:


e

e
e
=0
g(e)
b(e) +
z
z
z
t
where
k(e) d 
w (1 + e) de


 
k(e)
Gs d
b(e) =
w de 1 + e

g(e) =

in which e is the void ratio, s and w are the


solid and fluid phase weights per unit of their own
volume, respectively, and z is a reduced coordinate
encompassing a volume of solids (Gibson et al., 1967).
The function g(e) plays the role of consolidation
coefficient and b(e) introduces the effect of gravity.
If the gravity effect is neglected [i.e. b(e) = 0] and
g(e) is assumed to remain constant during the process,
then equation 3 simplifies into the classical theory
(i.e. Terzaghis). Equation 3, can be numerically solved
with appropriate boundary and initial conditions and
making use of the constitutive equations (Eq. 1&2) of
the soft soil.
To that end a finite difference based program (Van
Impe P.O., 1999) was used to perform calculations.
Results of large strain consolidation and small strain
consolidation evaluation are compared in figure 8.
In this simulation, a single load increment (equal
to the current load) was applied to the homogeneous

143

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

qc (MPa)
0

10

CSR, CRR
0

0.2

FoS against liquefaction


0.4

0
-2

-4

-4

-4

-6

-6

-6

-6

-6

-10

-8
-10

-8
-10

10

-2

TAW level

-10

-8

TAW level

-2

-4

TAW level

-2

-4

-8

0
CSR
CRR

-2

TAW level

TAW level

Shear angle p ()
20 25 30 35 40
0

Friction ratio F (%)


15

-8
-10

-12

-12

-12

-12

-12

-14

-14

-14

-14

-14

-16

-16

-16

-16

-16

-18

-18

-18

-18

-18

-20

-20

-20

-20

-20

Figure 9. Some properties of the hydraulically placed embankment sand.

8 m thick soft soil layer. Moreover, the output of small


strain analysis is showed as a range because there is a
range of consolidation coefficients that can be chosen
out of the constitutive equations of the soft soil for the
full range of stress levels it will be subjected to.
The outcome of the monitoring of the consolidation
behavior of the soft soil matches closely the estimations evaluated using the large strain consolidation
theory. In fact, figure 8 shows that the estimated consolidation degree out of settlements after 2 years of
loading is about 40% (close to 40 to 50% measured).
On the other hand, the consolidation degree out of
PWP dissipation is about 15% (close to 10 to 15%).
Moreover, it can be concluded that small strain consolidation predictions could give unsafe results when
designing a staged construction on soft soil since it
overestimates the consolidation degree out of pore
water pressures which could lead to overestimation of
strength gain due to consolidation.
6

QUALITY CONTROL OF THE


HYDRAULIC FILL

Quality control of the embankment sand was performed regularly at several stages during the construction by means of CPT tests. Moreover, parameters such
as shear angle () and relative density could be estimated to confirm the design requirements.An example
of typical CPT profile above the soft soil deposit is
given in figure 9. It can be observed that the cone pressure qc increases linearly with depth and an almost
uniform shear angle ranging from 32 to 35 was
evaluated.
Furthermore, the risk of liquefaction of this
hydraulic fill was assessed using the method proposed
by Robertson and Wride (1998). For characterizing the
local seismicity in the area, an earthquake magnitude
of M = 5.5 was assumed and a Peak Ground Acceler-

ation (PGA) of 0.05 g was obtained from the seismic


zonation map of Belgium. Making use of those data
a factor of safety (FoS) was evaluated (Fig. 9). In all
cases FoS against liquefaction did exceed 1, in fact
most factors ranged from FoS = 2.5 to 6. It can be concluded that liquefaction, for an earthquake magnitude
of 5.5, will not occur.
7

The monitoring of the consolidation behavior of a


soft foundation soil under a large partially submerged
sand embankment has shown that the large strain consolidation theory was successful to describe more
adequately such behavior. Measurements of settlements and excess pore water pressures showed a good
agreement with predictions evaluated using the large
strain consolidation theory. On the other hand, the
more conventional small strain theory was shown to
overestimate the dissipation of pore water pressure and
underestimate settlements.This could lead to an unsafe
design of staged construction.
REFERENCES
Gibson et al. 1967. The theory of 1D consolidation of
saturated clay: finite non-linear consolidation of thin
homogeneous layers. Geotechnique, Vol. 17, No. 3,
pp. 261273.
Robertson P.K., & Wride C.E. 1998. Evaluating cyclic liquefaction potential using the cone penetration test. Canadian
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 35. pp.: 442459.
Van Impe W.F., Verastegui Flores R.D. 2006. Deep mixing
in underwater conditions: a laboratory and field study.
Ground Improvement , Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 1522.
Van Impe P.O. 1999. Consolidation of saturated, highly
compressible porous media. MsC thesis, Faculty of engineering, UGent (in dutch).

144

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSIONS

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Optimal design of grillage supporting structures for stabilizing slopes


Yanpeng Zhu & Yong Zhou
School of Civil Engineering, Lanzhou Univ. of Tech., Lanzhou, China

ABSTRACT: The grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors is a new type of supporting structure
in stabilizing loess slopes, which overcomes the disadvantages of traditional slope supporting structures, such
as restricted slope height, high cost and massive retaining structures. In this paper, the authors propose a new
design method for the optimal design for such supporting structures. The factors dealing with the characteristics
of the anchor bars include the horizontal and vertical spacings, the diameter and the inclination in the design
and these factors have been analysed. The results of analysis show that the construction cost of the anchors is the
most significant component of the total cost of the project. The analysis is consisted of the following steps. 1)
Assume an initial set of values for the spacing and diameter of the anchor bars, and the dimension of the beam
and plates. 2) Based on the contact pressure between the soil and the beams along with the plates, calculate the
internal forces in the beams and the tensile forces on the anchor bars. These forces permit the calculations for
a new set of values required for the dimensions of the beams and the diameter of the anchor bars. 3) Based on
the strengths of the beams and the anchor bars, and the prescribed safety factor for the slope, an optimization
procedure is conducted to obtain a design with the lowest cost. 4) Steps 2 through 3 are repeated until the
difference in cost between two successive calculations is within an acceptably small margin. This method of
design has been compared to the conventional design and it is concluded the spacing of the anchors are the most
important cost factor and that the new design produces a saving of 10 to 20% with the same factor of safety.

INTRODUCTION

Grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed


anchors is a new and rapid development in recent years.
This structure consists of grillage beams, thin retaining
plate, anchors and soil mass. It is considered a flexible
supporting structure, whose vertical plane is shown in
Figure 1. In this kind of supporting structure, the grillage beams and the anchors form a spatial structure
working with the reinforced concrete retaining plate
to bear the soil pressure. The anchors are embedded
in the resistance zone and bear the soil pressure on
the concrete plate produced by soil mass in the active
zone. It improves the working properties of soil mass
and changes the passive support of traditional supporting structures to the active supporting fully using the
self stability of soil mass. Therefore, this supporting
structure can effectively control the displacements of
the supporting structure and soil mass.
This type of supporting structure is particularly
suited to retaining loess deposit, frequently found in
the Northwestern part of China and stratified soft soil.
Loess is a wind-blown deposit of uniform grainsize in
the silt size range. In the natural state, loess possesses
cohesion derived from the bond between soil grains.
The bond is due mostly to a calcareous binder, which

can dissolve in water. Therefore, loess deposit is highly


susceptible to erosion and becomes quick when excessively wetted. A grillage supporting structure prevents
water from entering into the retained soil, and reduces
the potential for the loess slope to collapse.
For the current design of grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors, the traditional design
method is to assume the vertical plane layout of

Figure 1. Vertical plane of grillage supporting structure


with pre-stressed anchor bars.

145

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

anchors, design the lengths and diameters of anchors,


check the local and overall stability of the supporting structure and design the grillage members. In
most cases, this kind of design focuses on the structural safety and ignores economy, thus giving rise
to great material waste for some large-scale slopes.
The structural optimization design is a kind of design
method to apply the optimization theory of mathematics to structural design. This design method not
only satisfies the need for providing adequate bearing capacity, but also reaches the target for optimum
economy. At present, many in civil engineering are
actively advocating the optimum design, but in designing slope-supporting structures, little research work
has been done, especially there is no optimum design
about grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed
anchors. The basic design utilizing the optimal design
approach for this type of structures has been proposed
and conducted by the authors, whose work has now
been referred to in engineering practice (Zhu and Zhou
2004).

Figure 2. Soil pressure distribution of earth-retaining wall


with anchor bars.

BEARING CAPACITY AND STABILITY OF


GRILLAGE SUPPORTING STRUCTURE
WITH PRE-STRESSED ANCHORS

Soil pressure is the load acting on earth-retaining


plate. Because of the existence of anchors in the soil
behind the plate, the soil pressure distribution is relatively complicated and an effective solution is not
available up to now. In the proposed design, the Rankines soil pressure theory is commonly adopted to
approximate the soil pressure, but the calculation of
the soil pressure recommended by the Technical Code
for Building Slope Engineering (GB330-2002, China
national code) is more suitable for loess slopes. In this
case, the lateral soil pressure of earth-retaining wall
with a single anchor may be represented by the triangular distribution approximated by Rankines theory.
However, for slopes composed of hard soil, hard clay,
or dense or medium-dense sand, and if the retaining
wall involving multi-layer anchors is constructed by
using the top-to-down construction method, the soil
pressure distribution is determined approximately as
shown in Fig. 2. The lateral soil pressure, ehk , can be
calculated as:
ehk =

Ehk
0.875H

(1)

where ehk is the value of the lateral soil pressure at


the base, Ehk the resultant force of the Rankines soil
pressure and H the wall height.
In the analysis and design of grillage supporting
structures with pre-stressed anchors in multi soil layers, considering the relative uniformity of soil in loess

Figure 3. Model of finite element method of grillage beams.

regions, the weighted average method are used to


simplify the soil profiles.
2.1 Bearing capacity
(1) Analysis of retaining plate
Under general conditions, the soil pressure acting
on retaining plate will be transferred to the boundary
supports of grillage beams along two directions. The
retaining plate is similar to the floor slabs of buildings
and the internal forces may be calculated accordingly.
(2) Analysis of grillage beams
The finite element method can be used to analyse the grillage supporting structure (Fig. 3), with the
retaining plate and the grillage beams being regarded
as the reinforced concrete floor slab, the soil pressure
as the load, and the pre-stressed anchors as the supports
(Zhu & Zhou, 2004).
(3) Design of pre-stressed anchors
The anchors are generally either driven into the
ground or installed by placement in drilled boreholes
and grouted along their effective length in the resistance zone. When the anchor is embedded in soil

146

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 4. Calculation schematic diagram of the anchor bar


length.

layers, the frictional resistance of the interface between


the grout and the soil is generally less than the bond
strength between the grout and the anchor bar. Therefore, the pullout resistance of an anchor depends on
the frictional resistance of the interface between the
grout and is given by:
Tu = DLn qsk

(2)

where D is the diameter of the grouted anchor, qsk the


allowable unit shear resistance at the interface, determined by the field pullout tests; and Le the effective
length of the anchor in the resistance zone.
The shear strength qsk depends not only on the characteristics of soil layers, but also on such factors as
construction method, grouting quantity and so on. It is
better to carry out field pullout tests to determine the
ultimate resistance of the anchor. For loess slope, the
value, qsk is about 4060 kPa.
The tensile force of the anchor is the support reaction of the grillage beams at the position of the anchor.
The effective anchored length can be calculated from:
Lnj =

Fb T
Dj qsjk

(3)

where Fb is resistance factor for bearing capacity at


the anchor head, usually taken as 1.3, Lnj the effective anchored length of the jth anchor in the resistance
zone, Dj the diameter of grouted anchor bar, and
qsjk the allowable unit shear resistance at the grouted
anchor interface for the jth soil layer.
In Fig.4, OE is taken as the slip surface and Lfj
represents the length of the anchor in the active zone
given by Eq. (4).

Figure 5. Diagram of stability analysis.

The total length of the anchor can be calculated


using Eq. (5):
Lj = Lnj + Lfj

(5)

where Lj is the total length of the jth anchor.


The cross section area of thej th anchor can be
calculated by Eq. (6):
Ajs =

Fb Tj
fy

(6)

where Ajs is the cross section area of the jth anchor and
fy the tensile strength of anchor.
2.2

Stability analysis of grillage supporting


structure with pre-stressed anchors

The limit equilibrium analysis based on the method of


slices with a circular slip surface is used to determine
the factor of safety of the overall stability of the wall
and the retained soil (Fig. 5). The overall stability of
each stage of excavation has been examined by Zhu
et al. (2005). A computer program is developed that
includes an optimization routine for the most efficient
design of the anchors and grillage beams. The details
of this approach are described in details as follows.
The factor of safety for overall stability, Fs is
given by:
n

n


cik Li s + s (wi + q0 bi ) cos i tgik R
i=1
i=1


Fs =
n

s0 (wi + q0 bi ) sin i R
i=1

(H Hj ) tan (450 /2) sin (50 + /2)


Lfj =
sin (1350 /2 j )

(4)

Tnj [ cos (j + j ) + sin (j + j ) gjk ]

j=1

where H is the total height of the slope, Hj the distance


from the jth anchor to the top of the slope, the internal
friction angle and j the inclination of the jth anchor
from the horizontal.

147

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

m


R + F(Y + H )

n

s0 (wi + q0 bi ) sin i R

i=1

(7)

where n is the number of slices in the sliding mass; m


the number of rows of anchors in the sliding mass; 0
the importance coefficient of the slope retaining wall,
and for the present case, 0 = 1;wi the weight of the
ith slice per unit run of wall; bi the width of the ith
slice; cik the cohesion of the soil at the base of the ith
slice; ik the internal friction angle of the soil at the
base of the ith slice; i the inclination of the base of
the ith slice from the horizontal; j the angle between
the jth anchor and the horizontal; Li the base length of
the ith slice; R the radius of the circular slip surface;
F the resistance force of the grillage footing; H the
height of the excavation; Y the vertical distance from
the ground to the center of the circular slip surface;
and Tnj the tensile resistance per unit run of the wall
of the jth row of anchors in the resistance zone.
Tnj can be given by

x'

O'

xj
xj

z'
O

where lni is the length of the jth row of anchors in the ith
soil layer in the resistance zone. Again the summation
is taken over all the soil layers in which the jth row of
anchors has a presence.
This section describes the searching of the critical surface taking into consideration of the dynamic
relationship between the length and diameter of the
anchors and the location of the critical slip surface.
Two assumptions are used based on some observations of actual failures (Zhu 2005):
a) The tangent to any point on the slip surface inclines
from the horizontal within the range of 0 to 90
degrees. Consequently, the centre of the circular
slip surface is located in a certain zone.
b) The slip surface passes through the toe of the
slope. Therefore, one centre location is associated
with only one slip surface for a given depth of
excavation.
After a large number of computations, it is found
that the centre of the critical slip surface lies in rectangle OCDE (Fig. 6). This rectangle has a height of h and
width of 2h, where h is the current depth of excavation.
Normally this rectangle is sufficient for locating the
critical centre. The software, however, automatically
expands the rectangle if the critical centre happens to
fall on any side of it. The right lower corner of the original rectangle is the intersection of the vertical erected
from the toe and the horizontal line extended from the
crest. This corner also serves as the origin (O) of the
co-ordinate system. Fig. 7 shows a typical slip surface
during the computation. The centre of the slip surface
is at O at (-x, -z). In the searching process, several
variables can be obtained as follows.
The radius of the slip surface, R, is given by:

R = (x )2 + (h + z  )2
(9)

lfj

Cl n j

z
A

Figure 7. Geometric parameters for grillage supporting


structure with anchors.

The inclination of the base of the slice from the


horizontal (Fig.7), i , is given by:
sin i =

x  + xi
R

(10)

The length of the anchor in the resistance zone is


denoted by lnj , and the total length of the anchor, lj
is:
lj = lfj + lnj

(11)

where lfj is the anchor length in the active zone and


can be defined from the position of the anchor and the
location of the slip surface.
3

MATHEMATICAL OPTIMIZATION MODEL

3.1 Optimal design aim


The traditional aim of optimal structural design is that
the cost is optimal, and the design is safe and reliable during construction and utilization. To do so, the
project cost is considered an objective function and
a mathematical model is established that includes the
objective function and constraint conditions that are
related to the performance indexes of safety and reliability of the structure expressed mathematically. The

148

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

B
zj

(8)

zj

qsik lni

Tnj = dnj

Figure 6. Schematic diagram of stability analysis.

design process is translated into a search of the design


scheme with the minimum project cost that meets all
the constraint conditions.
In the optimal design of grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors, the minimum project
cost per unit run of wall is taken as the objective (including the costs of concrete, steel bars, and
anchors) that includes the global and local optimisation. Firstly, based on the calculated grillage internal
forces and stability of the supporting structure, the
anchors and the grillage beams are optimized locally.
Then, the geometric dimensions of grillage beams and
anchors with the meaning of optimal design can be
modified, and now the grillage beams and anchors
with current dimensions are taken as a new grillage
supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors. At the
second step, the bearing capacity and the stability of
the supporting structure are analyzed again, and then
the same optimal process is repeated. Finally, this is
repeated successively for the second step until the calculated results of two successive optimal results are
sufficiently close. The results from the final step can
be taken for the global optimization design results.
3.2

Mathematical model of optimal design

(1) Design Variables


Because of the important effects of anchors on the
bearing capacity and the stability of the supporting
structure, the factors affecting the total cost of the grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors are
mainly the layout of anchors, the dimensions of the
grillage beams and the reinforcements. Therefore for
the cost per unit run of the supporting structure, the
following design variables are considered:
X = [x1 , x2 , x3 , x4 , x5 , x6 , x7 , x8 , x9 , x10 , x11 ]T
where x1 , x2 , x3 are the distance of the first row of
anchors from the top of the slope, the horizontal and
vertical spacings of anchors, respectively; x4 , x5 , x6 , x7
are width, height, cross section area of reinforcing steel
bars and area of stirrups of horizontal grillage beam,
respectively; x8 , x9 , x10 , x11 are the width, height, area
of reinforcing bars and area of stirrups of the vertical
grillage beam, respectively.

composite structure with anchors and grillage beams.


Therefore, the objective function of the total cost per
unit run can be expressed as:
f0 (X ) = f1 (X ) + f2 (X ) + f3 (X )
where
f1 (X ) =

n


Lj Cm /x2

f2 (X ) = nx4 x5 Cc + 2x6 s Cg + 2x7


(x4 + x5 2as )s Cg 

(14)

f3 (X ) = (H + Hd )x8 x9 Cc + 2x10 s Cg + 2x11


(x8 + x9 2as )/x2

(15)

where f1 (X ), f2 (X ), f3 (X ) are the costs of anchors, horizontal and vertical grillage beams, respectively; Lj the
total length of the jth row of anchor; Cm the unit length
cost of anchor; Cc is the unit volume cost of concrete;
As1 the area of reinforcement of beam in one side; s
the density of reinforcement; Cg the unit cost of reinforcement; As2 the area of stirrups of horizontal beam
per unit length; as the thickness of concrete cover layer;
H the height of slope; Hd is the foundation depth of
structure; As3 is the area of reinforcement in the vertical beam in one side; and As4 the area of stirrups of
the vertical beam per unit length.
The constraint conditions of the grillage supporting
structure with pre-stressed anchors are divided into
four parts.
a. Strength constraints. The tensile force on the
anchor due to the earth pressure should be less than
the ultimate pullout capacity expressed as:
Tnj DLnj qsjk 0 (j = 1, 2, . . . , n)

(16)

where Tnj is the tensile force of the jth row of anchors;


D the diameter of borehole of anchor; Lnj the effective
length of the jth row of anchor bar; and qsjk the average shear strength at the interface between the grouted
anchor and the soil. The maximum moment on the
horizontal beam should satisfy Eq. (17) (CNC, 2001):
Mb fy x6 (x5 as )

1 (fy x6 )2
2 1 f c x 4

(17)

The maximum shear on the horizontal beam should


satisfy Eq. (18) (CNC, 2001):
Vb 0.7ft x4 (x5 as ) + 1.25fyv x7 (x5 as )

(18)

where Mb is the maximum moment on the horizontal beam; fy the tensile strength of reinforcement; 1

149

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(13)

j=1

(2) Mathematical Model of Optimal Design


Because the cross-sectional dimensions of the
beams are unknown at this stage, the height and the
width of the horizontal beam are taken as y1 and y1 ,
respectively, and the height and the width of the vertical beam are taken as y2 and y2 , respectively. In which
and are assumed as constants. The values of y1 and
y2 are determined by solving equations related to the
bending and the shear strength of the beams. Grillage
supporting structures with pre-stressed anchors are a

(12)

a concrete coefficient, when the concrete strength is


less than C50, 1 = 1.0 (CNC, 2001);fc the axial compressive strength of concrete; Vb the maximum shear
on the horizontal beam; and ft the axial tensile strength
of concrete.
Similarly, the constraint conditions of the vertical
beam can be given as follows:
Mz fy x10 (x9 as )

1 (fy x10 )2
2 1 f c x 8

Vz 0.7ft x8 (x9 as ) + 1.25fyv x11 (x9 as )

(19)
(20)

where Mz and Vz are the maximum moment and


maximum shear on the beam, respectively.
b. Stability constraint. The overall stability of the
grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchor
bars is closely related to the characteristics of the
anchor bars. Hence, the corresponding constraint condition is taken as:
n

n


cik Li s + s (wi + q0 bi ) cos i tgik R
i=1
i=1


Fs
+
n

s0 (wi + q0 bi ) sin i R
i=1
m


Tnj [ cos (j + j ) + sin (j + j ) gjk ]

j=1

R + F(Y + H )

n

s0 (wi + q0 bi ) sin i R

i=1

(21)
c. Limit constraints. According to Technical code for
building slope engineering (CNC 2002), the constraint conditions about the layout of anchors are
given by:
1.5 x1 H

(22)

2.0 x2 4.0

(23)

2.0 x3 H 1.5

(24)

d. Detailing constraints (CNC 2001)


min x8 (x9 as ) x11 max x8 (x9 as )

(25)

min x4 (x5 as ) x7 max x4 (x5 as )

(26)

where min and max are the maximum and the


minimum reinforcement ratio, respectively, and
min max (0.2, 45ft /fy ), max 5%.
4

OPTIMIZATION METHOD AND SOFTWARE

There are many methods in the optimal design of the


structures, which can be divided into indirect methods and direct methods. The indirect methods usually

require solving the partial derivatives of objective


function and constraint functions, so they are not convenient for designing appropriate software. The mesh
method, the random experiment method and the complex method belong to the direct methods, in which
the complex method is more effective when the constraint conditions are nonlinear and there are many
numbers of design variables. In view of the nonlinear characteristic the objective function and constraint
conditions, the complex method was adopted in this
study. Here the number of complex points k is more
than m+1, in which m is the number of design variables. In this paper, k is taken as m+2. The software
of optimal design of grillage supporting structure with
pre-stressed anchors is developed and its flow diagram
is shown in Figure 8.
The analysis consists of the following steps. 1)
Assume an initial set of values for the spacing and
diameter of the anchor bars, and the dimension of
the beam and plates. 2) Based on the contact pressure
between the soil and the beams along with the plates,
calculate the internal forces in the grillage beams and
the tensile forces on the anchors. These forces will
permit the calculations of a new set of values required
for the dimensions of the beams and the diameter of
the anchor bars. 3) Based on the strengths of the grillage beams and the anchors, and the prescribed safety
factor for the slope, an optimization procedure is conducted to obtain a design with the lowest cost. 4) Steps
2 through 3 will be repeated until the difference in
cost between two successive calculations are within
an acceptably small margin.
5

An 11 m height of slope was made for a highway in Lanzhou, China. The soil consists of a loess
deposit. The detailed profile is given by a unit weight
= 16.5 kN/m3 , the internal friction angle = 24 ,
and the cohesion c = 18kPa. The slope was stabilized by means of a grillage supporting structure with
prestressed anchors designed using the conventional
method and optimal method proposed here, respectively. The inclination of the wall was 80 from the horizontal and the anchor inclination was at 15 from the
horizontal. There was a uniform surcharge of 10 kPa
on the top of the slope behind the supporting structure.
According to the optimal design method proposed
in this paper, the design results are shown in Table 1.
Compared with the optimal design method and the
original design scheme, the proposal method saved
11.4% of total cost of the project.
This method of design has been compared to the
conventional design and it can be concluded the spacing of the anchors are the most important cost factor
and that the new design produces a saving of 10 to
20% with the same factor of safety.

150

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

EXAMPLE OF THE OPTIMAL DESIGN

Start

Input initial parameters


Finite element analysis and stability
analysis

Generate the first point

Use random function and transfer the calculation


program to generate the other points to form
a complex
Calculate the function value of each point

No

Got rid of the worst point and replace it with a new point

No
No
Times of iterationm

Is complex convergence satisfied?

Yes

Yes

Is design convergence satisfied?


Yes
Output results

End

Figure 8. Calculation flow diagram of optimal design.


Table 1.

Comparison of the the original design and optimal design methods.

Design
variables

x1
(m)

x2
(m)

x3
(m)

x4
(mm)

x5
(mm)

x6
(mm2)

x7
(mm)

x8
(mm)

x9
(mm)

x10
(mm2)

x11
(mm)

Total cost
(yuan/m)

Original
design
Optimal
design

2.5

3.0

3.0

300

400

980.5

1.227

400

400

1106.8

1.131

5500

2.1

2.8

3.2

250

400

711.2

1.065

300

400

841.2

1.089

4875

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

A new method for the optimal design for the grillage supporting structure with pre-stressed anchors
is proposed in this paper. The factors dealing with
the characteristics of the anchor bars include the horizontal and vertical spacings, the diameter and the

inclination in the design and these factors have been


analyzed. The analysis is consisted of the following
steps. 1) Assume an initial set of values for the spacing and diameter of the anchor bars, and the dimension
of the beam and plates. 2) Based on the contact pressure between the soil and the beams along with the
plates, calculate the internal forces in the beams and

151

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

the tensile forces on the anchor bars. These forces permit the calculations for a new set of values required
for the dimensions of the beams and the diameter of
the anchor bars. 3) Based on the strengths of the beams
and the anchor bars, and the prescribed safety factor for
the slope, an optimization procedure is conducted to
obtain a design with the lowest cost. 4) Steps 2 through
3 are repeated until the difference in cost between two
successive calculations is within an acceptably small
margin. This method of design has been applied to an
actual slope in the loess deposit and the results are
compared with those from a traditional method. The
comparison shows that the spacing of the anchors are
the most important cost factor and that the new design
produces a saving of 10 to 20% with the same factor
of safety.
REFERENCES
China National Standard (2002). Technical code for building
slope engineering, Beijing: ChinaArchitecture & Building
Press.
China National Standard (1999). China technical specification for retaining and protection of building foundation excavations. Beijing: China Architecture & Building
Press.
Guo Y.H., Bai J.Y., and Gou L. (2003). Local optimal design
for a frame shear wall structure. Henan Science, 21(4),
471474.
Li S.P. (2002). The theory and application of optimal technology for grouting bolting in slope. Building Science
Research of Sichuan, 28(4), 4749.
Qin S.Q. (2000). Optimum design of soil nailing supporting
structure. Geological Exploration for Non-ferrous Metals,
1, 4144.

Sheahan, T.C., and Ho, C.L. (2003). Simplified trial wedge


method for soil nailed wall analysis, J. of Geotech. and
Geoenvirn. Eng., ASCE, 129(2), 117124.
Shi, L.H., He, W.M., and Sun. Y.F. (2002). Stability analysis
of deep excavation by lattice method of equidistant arc
and its viewdata program, Chinese J. of Rock Mech. and
Eng., 21(9): 15681572.
Turner, J.P. and Jensen, W.G. (2005). Landslide stabilization
using soil nail and mechanically stabilized earth walls:
Case study, J. of Geotech. and Geoenvirn. Eng., ASCE,
131(2), 141150.
Zhang, M.J., Song, E.X., and Chen, Z.Y. (1998). Method of
stability analysis in deep excavation and its application, J.
of Eng. Mech. (China), 15(3), 3643.
Zhu, Y.P., Wang, X.L., Zhang, G.W., and Song, Y. (2002).
Design, construction and experimental monitoring of
lengthy deep foundation in Zhongguanghigh rise building
of Lanzhou, J. of Eng. Mech. (China), 19(sup.), 336341,
2002.
Zhu, Y.P., and Li, Z. (2005), Improvement on stability analysis of soil nail in foundation excavations and its software
development design, Chinese J. of Geotech. Eng., 26(5),
8996
ZhuY.P., and ZhouY. (2004). Design and calculation of frame
supporting structure with pre-stressed anchor bar on loess
slope. J. of Eng. Mech. (China), 21(sup.), 393398.
Zhu Y.P., and Li Z. (2005). Improvement on stability analysis of soil nailing in foundation excavations and its
software development. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical
Engineering, 27(8), 939943.
Zhu Y.P., Yu J., and Wang X.L. (2000). Optimum design of
cantilever supporting piles. Journal of Gansu University
of Technology, 26(1), 9095.
Zhu Y.P., Wang L., & Wang X.L. (2004). Analysis and
design for grillage foundation with rigid area, Advances
in Mechanics of Structures and Materials, Proceeding of
18th ACMSM, Australia.

152

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Measured settlements of the Srmin high embankment


Pavel vanut & Mojca Ravnikar Turk
ZAG Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Janko Logar
Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

ABSTRACT: A detailed study has been performed of the settlements which occurred in the subsoil beneath a
high motorway embankment (the Srmin high embankment), which was built in Slovenia over a two-year period,
between September 2002 and August 2004. This embankment, which had to be built on very compressible
subsoil of low bearing capacity and low permeability, is about 600 m long, and its height varies between 8.5 and
11.5 m. Two measurement methods, using conventional settlement plates and a hydrostatic profile gauge (HPG)
which could be placed in specially installed measuring tubes, were used to obtain settlement profiles at several
locations along the embankment. The results showed that the development of subsoil settlements at two selected
locations was very different, due to the heterogeneity and varying compressibility of the subsoil. The settlements
obtained by measurements using the HPG were very similar to those obtained using settlement plates, which
were located very close to the measuring tubes.

INTRODUCTION

Since the start of Slovenias National Motorway Construction Programme, a large number of high embankments, founded on soft soil, have been built. One of
them, the Srmin high embankment, is located on the
motorway section Klanec Srmin, close to the coastal
town of Koper (see Figure 1).
The Srmin embankment is situated in between the
new Bivje viaduct and an overpass which carries the

coastal road over the railway line. The total length


of the embankment is approximately 600 m, and its
height varies between 8.5 and 11.5 m. The embankment had to be built on very compressible subsoil,
with a low bearing capacity and low permeability, so
it was necessary to provide, in the design, adequate
measures to increase the stability and the consolidation rate of this subsoil. After several geotechnical
studies of the predicted performance of the embankment had been performed, stone columns were chosen
to reinforce the soft subsoil. A system for geotechnical monitoring of the embankment and the subsoil
beneath it (particularly settlements during and after

The Klanec - Srmin motorway section


Figure 1. The planned motorway network in Slovenia.

Figure 2. The Srmin high embankment under construction.

153

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

HOR1

33

12

13

I-2
8

I-6

14

11
69.60

1
99.30

BIVJE
VIADUCT 2

79.50

4a

10

I- 4

79.50

2
HOR

7
I- 3

3a
I-1

1
HOR1

- SETTLEMENT PLATE
- MEASURING TUBE
- STONE COLUMNS

Figure 3. The situation of the discussed section of the Srmin high embankment, showing the system for monitoring its
settlements.

construction) was established in order to compare the


predicted and actual behaviour of the embankment.
2

GEOTECHNICAL CONDITIONS

The investigations showed that the subsoil beneath the


planned embankment consisted of alluvial deposits
of the Riana river. The following subsoil layers, described from the top downwards, were
distinguished:

a 5 to 5.5 m thick layer of firm brown clay, of high


plasticity,
a 4 to 5.5 m thick layer of soft grey to black organic
silty clay (this is the critical soil layer with regard to
bearing capacity and deformability),
a 2 to 4 m thick layer of dense silty gravel,
marl bedrock.
The total thickness of the two top layers of compressible cohesive subsoil was about 9.5 to 11 m.
3

SETTLEMENT MEASUREMENTS

measure the settlements by means of a hydrostatic profile gauge (HPG). The locations of measuring tubes
HOR-1 and HOR-2 are shown in Figure 3 (measuring tube HOR-3 unfortunately became inaccessible
during the construction works). The measuring tubes
HOR-1 and HOR-2 passed very close to the corresponding settlement plates SP-4 and SP-11, although
they were about 0.5 m higher than these two plates (for
their location, see Figure 3).
The first measuring tube HOR-1 was installed at
the cross-section where the largest settlements were
expected, whereas the second measuring tube HOR-2
was located at the widest cross-section of the embankment. Since the mouth of each of the measuring tubes
was accessible on both sides of the embankment,
the settlement probe was pulled, with a draw-cord,
through the tubes (this was the first time that such
measurements had been performed in Slovenia). The
measurement step was 1 m. The lengths of the two
measuring tubes were 75 m (HOR-1) and 68 m (HOR2). The tubes were installed in a 60 cm deep trench,
which was excavated when the embankment was 1.5
to 2 m high.
3.2 Operation of the hydrostatic profile gauge

3.1 Locations of the settlement plates and


measuring tubes
As part of the system for geotechnical monitoring of
the embankment, measurements of settlements were
performed, using two methods, in order to obtain settlement profiles at various locations along the embankment. Not only were conventional settlement plates
installed at numerous transverse profiles along the
embankment, but also three measuring tubes (designated HOR-1, HOR-2 and HOR-3) were installed at
three of the embankment cross-sections in order to

A hydrostatic profile gauge is a device which can be


used to measure the vertical displacement of structures such as road embankments and earth dams across
the entire width of the structure. It consists of a control unit, a readout unit, and a length of triple tubing
which is connected to a settlement probe that can be
pushed (with aluminium rods) or pulled (with a drawcord) through the measuring tube beneath the structure
(see Figures 4 and 5). Two of the three small tubes are
filled with water and are constantly back-pressurized

154

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

EMBANKMENT

SP- 4
HOR 1

DISTANCE ( m )
0
SETTLEMENT (cm)

10

10

30

40

50

60

70

80

(REFERENCE MEASUREMENT)

0
10
20

20
H EMBANKMENT ~
= 7,0 m

30

30
40

40

50

H EMBANKMENT ~
= 10,0 m

50

60

60

70

70

Figure 4. General arrangement of a hydrostatic profile


gauge being used beneath an embankment.

20

~ 2,0 m
H EMBANKMENT =

H EMBANKMENT ~
= 11,5 m

80

80

Figure 6. Settlement profiles, at different heights of


embankment construction, along the measuring tube HOR-1
(L = 75 m).

EMBANKMENT

SP- 11
HOR 2

DISTANCE (m)

SETTLEMENT (cm)

Figure 5. Settlement measurements being performed using


a hydrostatic profile gauge (the probe is being pushed into
the measuring tube).

in order to overcome surface tension effects, and to


prevent the formation of bubbles. Measurements of
elevation are taken at regular intervals along the measuring tube, which is laid in a sand-filled trench before
the start of embankment construction. The hydrostatic
head H is measured by means of a differential pressure transducer. The readings are related to a reference
pin outside the tube, and in this manner a complete
elevation profile of the tube can be established. By
comparing profiles taken at different times, the vertical displacement of the tube between any two readings
can be determined to an accuracy of 1.0 cm, which
is excellent for such applications.

4
4.1

RESULTS
Comparison of settlement development at two
different locations

The settlements obtained by measurements performed


using the HPG, at points 1 m apart, along the measuring tubes HOR-1 and HOR-2, are shown, for different
heights of the embankment construction, in Figures 6
and 7. The reference measurement (settlement = 0)
was performed in the middle of October 2002. The

20

30

40

50

60

(REFERENCE MEASUREMENT)

~ 1,5 m
H EMBANKMENT =
~ 7,0 m
H EMBANKMENT =

~ 9,0 m
H EMBANKMENT =

H EMBANKMENT ~
= 10,0 m

70

0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45

Figure 7. Settlement profiles, at different heights of


embankment construction, along the measuring tube HOR-2
(L = 68 m).

final contour of the embankment is also shown in


these two figures. At the time of the installation of
the measuring tubes (and the reference measurement)
the height of the embankment was about 2.0 m (HOR1) and 1.5 m (HOR-2), so that some subsoil settlement
had already occurred.
In the case of profile HOR-1, embankment construction from a height of 2.0 to 11.5 m caused a 10 cm
settlement of the subsoil on the southeast side of the
embankment (geodetic measurements) and a 70 cm
subsoil settlement near the centre of the embankment
(HPG measurements) (see Figure 6). It can be seen
from this figure (the two lowest curves) that the gradual
reduction, as construction proceeded, in the width of
the embankment caused additional settlements mainly
in the middle of the measuring cross-section.
In the case of profile HOR-2, embankment construction from a height of 1.5 to 10.0 m caused a 12 cm
settlement of the subsoil on the northwest side of the
embankment (geodetic measurements), and a 41 cm
subsoil settlement near the centre of the embankment (HPG measurements) (see Figure 7). It can be

155

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45

10

sep.04

mar.05

Settlement (cm)

sep.05
18
16
14

Settlement plate SP4


Measuring tube HOR1
Construction of the embankment

30
40

12
10

50

60

70

80

Height of the embankment (m a.s.l.)

Date
mar.04

20

Figure 8. Settlement development measured at the location


of HOR-1, using two different methods, compared with the
progress of embankment construction.

sep.02
0

mar.03

sep.03

Date
mar.04

sep.04

mar.05

sep.05
18

10

16

20

14

30

12

40

10
8

50
60
70

Settlement plate SP11


Measuring tube HOR2
Construction of the embankment

80

6
4
2

Figure 9. Settlement development measured at the location


of HOR-2, using two different methods, compared with the
progress of embankment construction.

The settlement plates were not in fact installed at the


base of the embankment (i.e. directly on the foundation
subsoil), but somewhat later on the first (SP-11) and
second (SP-4) layers of the embankment, so that the
geodetic measurements of the vertical displacements
of the settlement plates were somewhat less than the
actual settlements of the foundation soil (measured
from the start of the construction works). It was estimated that the so-called missed settlement was 4 to
6 cm. Regarding the influence of the stone columns,
the expected time of 95% of consolidation of the subsoil is 1.5 years. Consolidation is still in progress, so
that this evaluation could not yet be confirmed.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of measuring tubes and a HPG, which do not


interfere with the construction works, has proved to be
an excellent practical solution. The results consist of
not just a single settlement (like those obtained when
a settlement plate is used), but of complete settlement
profiles along the measuring tube. Because of the relative values of vertical displacements measured by the

156

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

sep.03

10

Comparison of settlement development using


two different methods

Figures 8 and 9 show a comparison of the settlement


development measured in the measuring tubes HOR-1
and HOR-2 with the settlements observed on plates
SP-4 and SP-11, which were located very close to
these two measuring tubes, and the progress of the
embankment construction at both profiles. The reference measurement of the vertical displacements of
the settlement plates was performed in the middle of
September 2002 (the reference measurement in the
tubes was performed one month later). For comparison
of the results of these two methods, the soil settlement
measured by optical levelling of the settlement plates
up until October 2002 (4 and 5 cm, respectively) was
taken into account. Because of construction reasons,
the last measurement of the vertical displacements of
the settlement plates was made before the pavement
was completed, so the increase in settlements up to the
finished surfacing layer was estimated on the basis of
measurements using the HPG (see the hatched lines
in Figures 8 and 9). After that a new system of optical
levelling was established, which enabled continuity of
the observation of the settlements.
It was shown that the values of the settlements, as
well as the settlement development measured by the
HPG, are very similar to those observed on the settlement plates, which were located very close to the
measuring tubes. At the time of the last measurements,
in July 2005, the difference between the settlements
obtained by the two different methods was 3 and 4 cm
respectively; the settlements measured using the HPG
were 68 and 46 cm, whereas the settlements measured using the settlement plates were 71 and 50 cm,
respectively.

mar.03

Height of the embankment (m a.s.l.)

4.2

sep.02
0

Settlement (cm)

seen from this figure (the two lowest curves) that the
construction of the connecting embankment caused
relatively larger settlements on the southeast side of
the embankment (i.e. on the right hand side of the
measuring cross-section). It can be also seen from this
figure that, similarly to the case of HOR-1, the gradual
reduction in the width of the embankment, as construction proceeded, caused additional settlements mainly
in the middle of the measuring cross-section.
It can be seen that the development of settlements at the two selected profiles was very different,
which is the consequence of the heterogeneity and
different compressibility of the subsoil beneath the
embankment at these two locations.
The last measurements using the HPG were performed in July 2005 (i.e. one year after the embankment had been completed). However, consolidation of
the subsoil has not yet finished, so that the presented
values of the settlements should not be assumed to be
equal to the ultimate values for the stated heights of
the embankment.

HPG, the absolute height of the reference pin at the


mouth of the tube should be determined by geodetic
measurements. When analyzing settlements and determining absolute values of settlements, the progress of
embankment construction before the reference measurement is made should be taken into consideration.
When the mouth of the measuring tube is accessible on both sides of the embankment the settlement
probe can be pulled through the tube with a draw-cord,
which was successfully performed for the first time in
Slovenia in the case of the settlement measurements of
the Srmin high embankment. This work is much less
time-consuming than when the probe has to be pushed
through the tube with aluminium rods.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

REFERENCES
Logar, J. 2002. Geotechnical analysis of the performance of
the Srmin high embankment, founded on the soft soil
reinforced by the stone columns. University of Ljubljana,
Slovenia (in Slovenian) unpublished report, 22 pages.
Ravnikar Turk, M., vanut, P. and iberna, S. 2002. The use
of a hydrostatic profile gauge for settlement measurements
of the Drtijcica dam. Proc. of the 4th SLOCOLD Expert
Meeting, Fala, Slovenia (in Slovenian), pp. 18.
vanut, P. 2003. Settlements of an embankment founded on
a soft soil. Proc. of the 11th International Symposium on
Deformation Measurements, Santorini, Greece, pp. 335
340.
vanut, P., Ravnikar Turk, M. and iberna, S. 2004. Settlements of the Srmin high embankment. Proc. of the
4th Conference of the Slovenian Geotechnical Society,
Rogaka Slatina, Slovenia (in Slovenian), pp. 283288.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Peter


Sheppard in the editing of this paper.

157

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Joint calculation of a foundation and soil of the large-scale


structure in view of creep
Shmidt Aitalyev & Nicholas Ter-Emmanuilyan
National Academy of Science, Institute of the mechanics and mashines, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

Tatyana Ter-Emmanuilyan
Ministry of Education and Science, Kazakhstan Academy of Architecture and Construction, Almaty, Republic of
Kazakhstan

Timur Shmanov
Ministry of Defense, Military Engineering Institute of Radio-electronics and Communication, Almaty, Republic of
Kazakhstan

ABSTRACT: The paper consist of basis and practical application of the method of full discretization. This
method is a special modification of finite element method for the solving of problems of elastic creep. Practical
application of the method is illustrated with modeling and applied tasks. For example joint calculation of the
foundation of a high-altitude television tower near the city of Almaty (Republic of Kazakhstan) and soil in an
assigned time interval is solved. All of components of evolution of all vectors of displacements and stress tensors
of all elements with and without taking into account of technology of building are determined. Comparison of
the received results with the known date of natural supervision is performed.

INTRODUCTION

Method of full discretization (FDM) special modification of the finite element method (FEM) for the solving of various problems of the elastic creep, offered by
N.Ter-Emmanuilyan (Ter-Emmanuilyan N., 1975).
FDM universal, comparatively simple and obvious engineering method being not step-by-step in
time. It gives an opportunity to determine discrete values of displacements, deformations and stresses in
a calculated interval of time. The method is developed both in variant of displacements, and in variant
of forces. It can be combined with other engineering
numerical methods, such as a method of boundary
elements, a method of finite differences and others
(Ter-Emmanuilyan N., Ter-Emmanuilyan T., 2006).
The FDM allows to take into account: a heterogeneous creep and ageing of materials of any
constructions and foundation soils; physical and geometrical nonlinearity; plasticity; anisotropy; different
modular elastic creep; influence of temperature; presence stressed enforcement and normal armatures in
ferro-concrete; discrete diagrams of erection of constructions (increase or reduction of volumes, change
of operational loadings etc.).
The method is applied at the decision of a wide
class of engineering problems of a linear and nonlinear

elastic creep. For example: plane problems; axisymmetric; three-dimensional; single-layered and multilayered plates and envelopes; bar and thin-walled
systems; stability of plates and bars; contact problems; thermoelastic creep problems; a short-time
high-temperature creep of metals, etc.
The mathematical justification of a FDM as a
version of a method of weighted residuals and also
approximation and discretization error in numerical
solutions is considered. The appropriate algorithms
of the solutions of linear and nonlinear problems of
elasticity, elastic creep and plasticity are constructed.
The package of application software for engineers and
researchers is developed.
The wide class of modelling and applied engineering problems are solved: calculation of evolution of
stress-deformation state in the system tunnel lining rock; reinforced concrete pipe - backfilling;
a heterogeneous thick-walled shell with steel facing at loading and unloading; research of evolution
of stress-deformation state of the vertical supported
shaft at drivage with the preset speed; calculation
in time reinforced concrete wall panels with holes;
calculation of multilayered plates in view of a creep
of some layers; buckling of flexible plates; buckling
of a rod and cylindrical bend of a plate with initial
camber; research on model Shenly at conservative

159

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

and following loadings; calculation of prestressed ferroconcrete rods; combined calculations of growing
buildings and constructions and their bases (Aitaliev
Sh., Ter-Emmanuilyan T., 2003):
an evolution of stress-deformation state of a foundation ferroconcrete plate on a soil base;
a problem about of influence of non-simultaneity
of erection of buildings on evolution of the stressdeformation state in constructions and basis at the
constrained building of city territories;
calculations of the box-shaped substructure and the
basis of high-altitude television tower on mountain
Kok-Tyube near Almaty city in three variants of
statement of a task: plane, quasi-spatial and spatial;
calculation of a road embankment and its basis;
calculation in time four-level a ferro-concrete construction and its basis, etc.

Matrix Lt in usual designations is constructed on


the basis of the equations of a condition for linear
three-dimensional elastocreep the bodies, received by
N.H.Arutjunjan.
For the decision of system of the equations (Eq.1)
the numerical method of the decision based on full,
existential digitization (FDM) was offered.
Digitization of objects in FDM on geometry is carried out as well as in FEM at the decision elastic and
elastoplastic problems.
The limited time piece (day, years) digitize time
points.
For uniaxial the discrete form of the equation of a
condition looks like the intense condition:
tj
i

d()
i = i i1 +
i ()d,
d
j=2 t
j1

(i = 1, 2, 3, . . . , p), (j = 2, 3, . . . , p).

BASES OF THE METHOD

Stress-deformation state (SDS) the elastocreep, homogeneous and isotropic body loaded in the age of = 1
at small deformations in static problems completely is
determined, if all are known 15 components of a vector
f (xi , t, ) = [uT (xi , t, ) T (xi , t, ) T (xi , t, )],
(i = 1, 2, 3),

nT
0
0

J
J
0


0
u
0
Lt + 0 = 0

(1)

And to boundary conditions in movings on S1 and in


superficial forces on S2 . in system (Eq. 1) n (3 6)
a matrix of linear differential operators on coordinates; = [XYZ]T a vector of volumetric forces;
ns a matrix directing cosines an external normal to a
surface, but with replacement of operators of differentiation /xi , . . .. on cosines cos(, xi ), . . .; J a unit
matrix; Lt a matrix of integro-differentual operators
66

of an elastic creep with 12 nonzero elements Lij from


which Lt11 has the following kind:

Lt11

1
+ C (t, 1 ) +
=
E (1 )

d ...
= (t, 1 ) +
d

t 


1
+ C (t, )
E()

(t, )
1

d...
.
d

and vectors of discrete values.

11
0
... 0
1
21 22
... 0
22

E =

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.. ...
pp
p1 p2 p2 p3 . . . pp

(5)

the return square-bottom triangular matrix of matrix


module describing elasticity, hereditary creep and
ageing of a material, in which sizes ik are calculated
under the formula
ik =

1
tk tk1

tk
i ()d,

(6)

tk1

Or, is simplified,
ik =

ik + i,k1
,
2

(t, ) =
(2)

(7)

1
+ C(t, ).
E()

(8)

Generally triaxial the SDS, from six scalar integrated


equations of a condition making the second group of

160

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(4)

Thus

t

In (Eq.3) integral it is broken for the sum of integrals,


the derivative is replaced differential.
The formula (Eq. 3), after introduction of matrix
restrictions, gets a kind conterminous under the form
with Hookes law:
= E1 ,

as functions of coordinates and time, satisfying in each


point to system of the matrix-vector equations

(3)

the matrix equations (Eq.1) it is received, after sampling, the system of the algebraic equations having the
form of generalized Hookes law:

x = E1 x E1 ( y + z )

... ... ... ... ... ...


,
(9)
1
xy = 2E (J + )xy

... ... ... ... ... ...


where = 

1
0
0 0 ...
1
1
0 0 ...

1 0 ...
0 1
=
0 1 1 . . .
0
... ... ... ... ...
0
0
0 0 1

0
0

0
0

...
1

(10)

an auxiliary matrix,
the bottom triangular matrix generated from
sizes ij :
"
ij =

(ti , j ), (i j)
,
0, (i < j)

(t, ) =

(t, )
.
0 ()

(11)

At construction of matrixes and it is possible to


use theories of creep or the data of base experiments.
As a result of generalization of physical parities(ratio)
of the linear theory of creep and matrix Hookes law
[10], the matrix form of the law of a linear elastic creep
is received in a general view:
t = Dt t ,

(12)

Dt the generalized matrix of a linear elastic


creep having in scalars 6 the order, t and t
6-dimensional (3-dimensional in flat problems) on
components tensors and to time points of vectors of
stresses and deformations.
At a conclusion of the formula calculation of the
matrix of rigidity of a final element generalized in time
for quasistatic problems of an elastic creep the principle of possible movings Lagrange is used. In result the
formula is received:

k rt = BT1 Dt B1 dv,
(13)
V

where 1 a matrix of communication of components of movings and deformations in time in


FE:
rt = B1 q tr .

(14)

Looks like a rectangular matrix generally about


6p 3np (n number of units in FE).

Matrix 1 turns out from a usual matrix in way


of expansion of each scalar member k in diagonal
blocks matrixes of the order with constant diagonal
elements k .
The matrix k rt of rigidity generalized in time elastocreep a final element has the order in time the
greater, than the order kr matrixes of rigidity of an
elastic element due to replacement of scalar elastic
constants and bottom triangular matrixes and
the order .The generalized matrix of rigidity t of system elastocreep elements which is square, block, the
order, generally, 3Np (N the general(common) number of units of elements of system) further is resulted.
For uniformity on properties of an elastic creep of a
body, this matrix can be received very simply as well
as k rt by expansion of scalars and in matrixes
and the order.
At calculation of the designs consisting from nonuniform on properties or age of materials, blocks of
matrix t of system are calculated only by summation on the elements containing units i and j of global
numbering of the appropriate members of generalized
matrixes of rigidity of final elements:
K tij =

k rtij .

(15)

rij

Further allowing linear matrix algebraic equation concerning a required vector q t of components of movings
in time of all units of system is submitted:
K t q t = R t ,

(16)

where K t generalized stiffness matrix of system


(SMS) in which the kinematics boundary conditions
having an opportunity to change in a settlement interval of time are taken into account; R t a vector of a
variable or a constant in time of central loading.

RESULTS of NUMERICAL MODELLING

In building practice erection of any constructions is an


example ph growing in time. Depending on concrete
conditions, process of escalating of viscoelastic bodies
can occur both discretely, and is continuous.
The account of a time history of development and
loading bodies frequently results in qualitative changes
in their mechanical behaviour.
At designing large ground and underground constructions, it is especial in conditions of city building,
performance of stage-by-stage geotechnical calculation, since process of construction and finishing an
operation phase is expedient. Thus results of calculations can differ from usual on the order, and sometimes
and with change of a mark (Ilyichev V., 2004).

161

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

television tower it was carried out by a number of


authors, however thus it was not taken into account
deformability the most base box.
Lets consider calculation of evolution is intense
deformed conditions of a box and the basis during last
period of operation of a construction due to creep of
concrete of a plate and the earth basis. Calculations are
executed in three variants of statement of a problem:
flat, quasi-spatial and spatial.
The behaviour elastocreep a material of constructions - concrete or ferro-concrete with the smeared
armature is described by the equations of the hereditary theory of ageing with a measure of creep of
S.V.Aleksandrovsky:
1
e A2
(1 e ) + () () t
E0
e A2
+ ()[1 e(1) ],
(17)

(t, ) =

where
() = C1 C3 +

Figure 1.

FDM allows to carry out joint calculations simultaneously and to investigate evolution is intense
deformed conditions in a time piece with the detailed
account of technology of all building and installation works, and also sequence of introduction of a
construction in operation. Thus, it is possible to predict evolution is intense deformed conditions of a
construction on any long term for definition of their
durability and reliability. It, in turn, results in economy
of materials and resources.
3.1

Modelling task

Lets consider joint calculation of a large-scale


base ferro-concrete box and the earth basis (TerEmmanuilyan T., 2006.).
On the western slope of mountain the Kok-Tube
in 1982 (figure 1), on an absolute mark of 1050 m
construction of a unique construction radiotelevision
transmitting station in height of 372 m and by weight
about 70 thousand tons was completed. The base of
a construction as an open monolithic ferro-concrete
box-shaped plate, the sizes in the plan (66 51) m
and depth location 16,6 m Figure 1.
Directly under a sole of the base of building television tower loams firm, dense, unsubsidence rocks
with the module of deformation of the top layer
(y = 6 m) 1 = 87 MPa, the bottom layer (y > 6 m)
2 = 93 MPa are deposited. Earlier settlement and
experimental estimations deposits of the basis of a

= C3 +

A3
,

0 the module of elasticity of old concrete,


a, , , 1 , 2 , 3 , 1 , 3 parameters of creep.
Parameters of creep of a ground with a measure of
creep of Z.S.Erzhanov:


1


(t, ) =
1 + (t ) ,
(18)
E

Received from differential nucleus


L(t ) = (t )1 ,

(19)

where , a parameters of creep.


In work the third variant of statement of a problem
is considered.
Loadings are the body weight of a base box and useful loading. Besides horizontal loading from pressure
of a ground upon retaining walls of a box is taken into
account.
Further, the results of calculations received by this
method are resulted.
For the decision of such class of problems the universal program FDM3D in which, except for the
basic nucleus of the program written in language FORTRAN, special modules are used, visualization the
entrance and target files developed in language Visual
Basic in AutoCAD 2004 environment was developed.
3.2

Spatial task

Lets consider calculation of evolution is intense


deformed conditions of a base box and the basis during
construction and operation of a construction in view
of creep of concrete of a plate and the earth basis.

162

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

A1 A3
,

Figure 3. Design model.

Figure 4. The deformed scheme.

Figure 2. Stages of erection of a construction. a) Concreting


a plate and a zero circle; b) Concreting 1-st circle of a wall
with the subsequent backfill; c) Concreting 2-nd circle of a
wall and continuation backfill; d) Concreting 3-rd circle of a
wall and the ending backfill.

The body weight of a base box and weight located


above the part of a construction non-uniformly allocated on a plate, basically is taken into account, due to
presence of a basic cylinder.
Erection of a base box is carried out in four stages.
1-st stage concreting of a plate and a zero circle of
a wall; 2-nd stage - concreting of the first circle of
a wall with the subsequent 3aspkoa ground from
the external parties(sides); 3-rd stage - concreting of
the second circle of a wall and continuation 3aspkia
ground; 4-th stage - concreting of the third circle of

walls and the termination(ending) backfill a ground


Figures 2(a,b,c,d).
In calculations the body weight of the ground is
taken into account.
On Figure 3 the design model of a box on the earth
basis with the indication of boundary conditions is submitted. The settlement area has two vertical planes of
symmetry, only 1/4 part of area therefore is considered.
Calculation is carried out with use of the program
FDM-3D. In result the information on components
of central movings for all units, in all time points,
i.e. (n 3 p) is received. Components of vectors
of deformations and stresses for each time point, in
all FE (N 6 = 120 000) are counted up. Thus,
the full picture of evolution of vectors of movings,
deformations and stresses in space and in time is
received.
Further we shall illustrate some characteristic
results of calculation graphically. Thus the program
of construction isoareas and isolines was in addition
developed.
On Figure 4 the deformed scheme of settlement area
(the scale of deformation is increased in 30 times) is
submitted.

163

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 5. Isolines of vertical movings


for times t3 (a), t5 (b), t7 (c), t20 (d).

Figure 6. Isoareas and isolines of components vertical


normal stresses for times t3 (a), t5 (b), t7 (c), t20 (d).

164

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 7. Isoareas and isolines of components horizontal


normal stresses for t20 : a) x ; b) y

On Figure 5(a,b,c,d) are represented isolines of vertical movings for t3 = 70, t5 = 110, t7 = 160, t20 = 550
day which evidently show evolution of vertical
movings.
Isoareas and isolines components of vertical normal stresses (z ) for four time points are submitted on
Figure 6(a,b,c,d), and on Figure 7(a,b) isoareas and
isolines of components of horizontal normal stresses
(x ,y ) for last time point t20 .
Figure 8(a,b,c) isoareas and isolines of components of tangents of stresses (txy , txz , tzy ) for last time
point t20 .

Figure 8. Isoareas and isolines of components of tangents


of stresses for t20 : a) xy ; b) xz ; c) zy .

165

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1. Comparison of results of calculations vertical movings v (with the account and without taking into account
technology).
Time
points

Without taking
into account

With the
account

Divergence,
%

t1
t2
t3
t4
t5
t6
t7
t8
t9
t10
t11
t12
t13
t14
t15
t16
t17
t18
t19
t20

5,22E-02
6,34E-02
6,49E-02
6,60E-02
6,68E-02
6,78E-02
6,86E-02
6,92E-02
6,98E-02
7,03E-02
7,08E-02
7,12E-02
7,16E-02
7,19E-02
7,23E-02
7,26E-02
7,29E-02
7,32E-02
7,34E-02
7,37E-02

3,78E-03
4,79E-03
5,08E-03
5,30E-03
6,56E-03
7,31E-03
2,69E-02
3,22E-02
3,29E-02
4,73E-02
5,07E-02
5,12E-02
6,56E-02
6,90E-02
6,96E-02
7,01E-02
7,06E-02
7,11E-02
7,15E-02
7,18E-02

92,76%
92,44%
92,17%
91,97%
90,18%
89,22%
60,79%
53,47%
52,87%
32,72%
28,39%
28,09%
8,38%
4,03%
3,73%
3,44%
3,16%
2,87%
2,59%
2,58%

Figure 9. Isoareas and isolines of components of vertical


deformations for t20 .
w, m
0,00E+00

-1,00E-02

-2,00E-02

-3,00E-02

-4,00E-02

-5,00E-02

-6,00E-02

-7,00E-02

-8,00E-02
30

70

110

160

220

280

340

400

460

520

t, [days]

Without taking into account technology


In view of technology

16

24

32

37

45

0.00E+00
-1.00E-02

Figure 10. Diagrams of change in time vertical movings to


unit # 995.

-2.00E-02
-3.00E-02
-4.00E-02

On Figure 9 are shown isolines and isoareas of components of vertical deformations for last moment of
time t20 .
If necessary received results can be presented as
appropriate diagrams on any chosen planes of sections
for any time point.
Except for it, on Figure 10 diagrams of vertical movings for characteristic units of system are submitted,
and in Table 1 are resulted comparison of results of calculation in time of vertical moving of the central unit
of a box (#995) with the account and without taking
into account technology of construction.
Are constructed diagrams vertical movings to
planes of symmetry for two levels on depth (I-st a
level y = 1 m, II-nd a level y = 9 ) and four
time points (t3 , t5 , t7 , t20 ), appropriate to four stages of
erection Figure 11a,b.

-5.00E-02
-6.00E-02
-7.00E-02
-8.00E-02
t3I

t5I

t7I

t20I

t3II

t5II

t7II

t20II

a)
y

16

24

29

37

1.00E-02
0.00E+00
-1.00E-02
-2.00E-02
-3.00E-02
-4.00E-02
-5.00E-02
-6.00E-02
-7.00E-02
-8.00E-02
t3I

CONCLUSIONS

t7I

t20I

t3II

t5II

t7II

t20II

b)

The developed methods and results of work are used


at designing, calculations and operation of ground,

Figure 11. Diagrams of vertical movings for t3 , t5 , t7 , t20 .


a) In a plane x0y; b) in a plane y0z.

166

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

t5I

underground, large-scale constructions as buildings,


dams, bridges and tunnels etc. objects in view of their
teamwork with the earth and rocky basis, time and spatial heterogeneity due to creep of materials. Besides
the developed packages of applied programs are convenient for users in view of their friendly interface,
optimum automation of input of the initial data and
processing of the received results.
The technique developed in work and the received
results allow to predict change in time of the SDS of
considered building objects with the big accuracy for
the long period of their operation, even in view of
possible reconstruction. This account can result in significant changes of the SDS (on the order and more)
for all period of operation.
In conclusion we shall note, that practically full concurrence of results of calculation of a base box by three
various ways is observed. For example, values of central movings in extreme points of contact of a plate
and a ground of the basis differ among themselves, for
the moment of time t20 , (2004), on 1.7%. Differences
of central movings in the same points from results of
natural supervision (t7 , 2002) make about 6% (Aitaliev Sh., Dostanova S., Isahanov E., Tokpanova K.,
Aldungarov M., 2004). Except for it, in out of contour
areas it is observed small buckling a ground.

REFERENCES

167

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1. Aitaliev Sh., Dostanova S., Isahanov E., Tokpanova K.,


Aldungarov M., 2004, Appraisal of settlments of high
television tower on the Kok-Tube mountain near by
Almaty city, Works of the international geotechnical
conference, Almaty, pp.132137.
2. Aitaliev Sh., Ter-Emmanuilyan T., 2003, Method of full
discretization in joint calculations of buildings and the
bases in view of creep, spatial and time heterogeneity,
Questions of applied physics and mathematics, Almaty,
pp.241246.
3. Ilyichev V., 2004, Experience of underground construction in Moscow. Works of the international geotechnical
conference, Almaty, pp.4142.
4. Ter-Emmanuilyan N., 1975, Method of spatially time
discretization for the decision of linear problems of the
theory of creep, On questions of mathematics and the
mechanics, No.7, KazNU. Alma-Ata, pp.1622.
5. Ter-Emmanuilyan N. Ter-Emmanuilyan T., 2006.
Method of full discretization for the decision problems
of an elastic creep, Almaty, p.416.
6. Ter-Emmanuilyan T., 2006., Application of the modified method full discretizations in engineering problems
with the account creep of materials and technology of
construction, Almaty, p.275.

Foundation

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Pile resistance variations over time for displacement piles in


young alluvium
Abdul Aziz Hanifah, Mohamad Nor Omar & Nor Fardzilah Abdul Rahman
Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Teh Kim Ong


Test Technical Laboratory, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ABSTRACT: The results of a study of pile resistance variations over time by high strain dynamic pile tests
using Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) are presented. A total of twenty-eight prestressed concrete test piles were
driven in two sites of similar geological formation and carefully tested using PDA at various elapsed times after
installation. The variations in resistance of these piles over a maximum elapsed time of 29 days are discussed. The
test results from the two sites are combined and compared to produce a general trend of resistance variation over
time. A new term, resistance gain ratio is introduced to describe the ratio of pile resistance obtained at re-strike
to end-of-drive. Well defined trends are observed when plotting resistance gain ratios against logarithmic time
scale. Finally, general equations for total and shaft resistance gain ratios are derived from such plots. These
general equations form the basis for prediction of magnitude and rate of resistance variation over time after
pile installation in young coastal alluvium for moderate to long displacement piles. The findings provide useful
information for engineers in the planning and design of piled foundation works, and in deciding the minimum
waiting time for load testing of piles.

INTRODUCTION

The shearing of soil caused by the installation of piles


generates pore pressures which may reduce or increase
the strength of soil depending on the initial density of
the soil. Positive excess pore pressures are generated
in normally consolidated soils at the time of driving,
resulting in reduction in soil strength and vice versa for
over-consolidated soils. As a result, the installation of
displacement piles through relatively soft soils would
experience low driving resistance at the time of driving and gain of driving resistance over time, when the
soils recover from the disturbances of piling. Thus, the
long-term performance of displacement piles could be
significantly different from the performance obtained
at end-of-drive (EOD).
This research program was aimed at studying the
pile performance at EOD and various elapsed times
after piling for two selected sites namely KUITTHO
in Batu Pahat, Johor and Route 6 in Bayan Baru,
Penang.The effects of piling and resistance variation of
installed piles over time were anticipated to be dependent on the geological formation, pile type and pile
penetration length. In this research work, the large displacement piles were driven through soft/loose coastal
alluvium deposits with penetration length to diameter
ratios (L/D) of about 50 to 100.

Pile resistance or capacity is studied because it


is one of the main interests in any deep foundation
design and construction. Many researchers in the past
had also opted to quantify the change in pile performance by static load tests but often the required costs
and time are prohibitive. Fortunately, advances in the
application and measurement of pile dynamics enable
pile testing to be carried out in an affordable and
reliable manner using Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA).
The pile resistance in this research is determined by
high strain dynamic pile testing (HSDPT) outlined in
ASTM D4945-00 using PDA-W (2000) model PAK
and CAPWAP (1995) program
2
2.1

KUITTHO Project, Batu Pahat

The field trials were carried out in a test area of


about 30 meters 40 meters within a construction
site located in Kolej Universiti Teknologi Tun Hussein
Onn, Batu Pahat, Johor. The test pile group consisted
of ten numbers of 300 mm diameter 60 mm thick
prestressed concrete spun piles installed and tested
using a 5-ton single acting hydraulic drop hammer.
The installation details of the test piles (TP1-TP10)
are described in Table 1, showing some variations in

171

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CASE STUDY 1

Table 1. Installation details of test piles at KUITTHO,


Batu Pahat.
Pile Installation
Ref. Details

Final Set Measurements Approx.


and Observations At
Penetration
End-of-Drive
in Silt (m)

TP1 with shoe,


3.5 mm/blow @ 26.4m.
12 + 12 + 9 m.

16 ~ 23 m thick
SOFT CLAY
N = 0 4 blows/ft

3.0

TP2 no shoe,
2.5 mm/blow @ 29.1m. 6.4
12 + 12 + 9 m.
TP3 with shoe,
6.3 mm/blow @ 32.1 m. 8.7
12 + 12 + 9 m. badly damaged at 15 &
21 m at 28day restrike.

12 ~20 m thick
MEDIUM DENSE SILT
N = 10 35 blows/ft

TP4 with shoe,


3.6 mm/blow @ 28.2 m. 4.8
12 + 12 + 9 m.
TP5 with shoe,
3.2 mm/blow @ 30.5 m, 7.1
12 + 12 + 9 m. but broken at 15-minute
restrike using 1.2 m drop
at 21.0 and 13.0 m below
pile-top, badly damaged
at 9 m during EOD.
TP6 no shoe,
broken at about 7.0 m

12 + 12 + 9 m. above toe during


installation.
TP7 with shoe,
12 + 12 + 9 m.
TP8 drive to length.
with shoe,
12 + 12 m.
TP9 drive to length.
with shoe,
12 + 9 + 9 m.

7.0mm/blow @ 30.6 m.

7.2

final length @ 22.8 m.


pile toe in soft layer.

0.0

V. DENSE SILT
N > 50 blows/ft

Figure 1. Schematic soil profile at KUITTHO.

During EOD and re-strike testing, efforts were


made to mobilize the ultimate capacity of the piles
by increasing the hammer drop up to its maximum of
1.2 m if the measured set at pile-top was found to be
less than 2.5 mm/blow. Subsequent to field data collection, CAPWAP analyses were performed to determine
the mobilized pile resistance and the computed shaft
and toe resistances.

6.0 mm/blow @ 28.8 m. 5.8


pile toe in stiff layer

TP10 with shoe,


3.2mm/blow @ 24.7m.
12 + 12 + 9 m.

2.2 Test results

7.2

the driving, splice length, pile shoe and set condition


of the piles.
The site is located on a flat coastal alluvium plain
where the geological formation is of Quaternary age.
The subsoil profile shown in Figure 1 is characterized
by a 1623 meter soft clay layer underlain by a medium
dense silt layer which varies in thickness from 12 to
20 meters. This is followed by a very dense silt layer
where the SPT values exceed 50 blows/0.3 m.
Pile driving monitoring (PDM) was carried out for
all the test piles throughout the process of installation
to provide information on the various driving quantities pertinent to piling eg. compressive and tensile
stresses. High strain dynamic pile tests (HSDPT) were
carried out at the end of test pile installation i.e. at
the end of drive (EOD). Re-strike HSDPTs at various elapsed times after EOD were performed on the
test piles to study the variation of pile capacities with
time. A total of seventy-one (71) HSDPTs were carried out on nine test piles over a 29-day period. Test
pile, TP6 was damaged during installation and hence
not included in the following discussions.

Figure 2 shows the measured set of the pile head during


HSDPTs plotted versus the elapsed time from EOD for
eight piles driven into the stiff silt stratum. It is evident
that the set of all eight piles that were driven into the
stiff silt had greatly reduced to less than 2.5 mm/blow
after an elapsed time of about 10 days. This indicates
that the 5-ton hammer was not capable of mobilizing
the ultimate capacities of the piles even when the piling
rig operated at the maximum hammer drop of 1.2 m.
CAPWAP analyses were performed to determine
the mobilized pile resistances with separation of shaft
and toe resistances. The results of CAPWAP analyses on seventy-one numbers of HSDPT on nine test
piles are shown in Figures 3 and 4, which plot the
mobilized total resistance and shaft resistance versus
elapsed time from EOD respectively
Both the total and shaft resistances of the test piles
increased significantly with elapsed time from EOD.
The dominant gain in resistance occurred within a
short period of less than 5 days. It should be noted that
the pile resistances from re-strike tests conducted 10
days or later after EOD represent lower bound values
of the ultimate pile capacity as the achieved permanent
set at the pile head were all significantly less than

172

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

GL

0m

12

250

11

225

10

200

Shaft Resistance (ton)

Set (mm)

8
7
6
5
4

175
150
125
100
75

3
50

2
25

1
0

0
0

12

16

20

24

28

32

TP2
TP7

TP3
TP9

TP4
TP10

Figure 2. Measured Pile Head Set vs Elapsed Time


from EOD.

12

16

20

24

28

32

TP1

TP2

TP3

TP4

TP5

TP7

TP9

TP10

Figure 4. Shaft Resistance vs Elapsed Time from EOD


for KUITTHO.

2.5 mm/blow. It is also of interest that the average


increase in total resistance from the 4th. to 28th. day
was only about 20%.
A review of the quake and pile displacement profiles estimated by the CAPWAP analyses suggests that
the shaft resistance was practically fully mobilized in
nearly all of the test piles. The trend of increase in shaft
resistance is broadly similar to the total resistance. The
increase in total and shaft resistances at any time can
be expressed as a ratio by normalizing with respect to
the resistance at EOD. A term, Resistance Gain Ratio
(RGR), is introduced as

250
225
200

Total Resistance (ton)

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


TP1
TP5

175
150
125
100

RGR =

75

25
0
4

12

16

20

24

28

32

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


TP1

TP2

TP3

TP4

TP5

TP7

TP9

TP10

Figure 3. Total Resistance vs Elapsed Time from EOD for


KUITTHO.

Total RGR = 0.11 Ln(day) + 1.71

(2)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.51

(3)

173

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(1)

A RGR of 2 indicates that the resistance at re-strike is


twice the resistance at end of drive. The gain ratios for
total and shaft resistances of the test piles are computed and plotted with elapsed time from EOD on
a logarithmic scale in Figure 5 and Figure 6 respectively. The data show an increasing trend in a narrow
band and are generally bounded within 35% of the
best-fit trend line.
The equations of the trend line for both total and
shaft resistance gain ratios are as follows:-

50

Resistance at Restrike
Resistance at EOD

CASE STUDY II

3.1 Route 6 Project, Bayan Baru

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

Total RGR = 0.11 Ln(day) + 1.71


4

+35%

+35%
-35%
1

-35%
0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


Figure 5. Total Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time from
EOD for KUITTHO.

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day)+ 2.51

The field works were carried out at a project site for a


viaduct along Route 6, Bayan Baru, Penang Island.
The site is located on a flat coastal alluvium plain
consisting of Quaternary deposits overlying granite
bedrock. The subsoil at the test section is made up
of 3 to 9 meters of soft clay/loose silt followed by 45
to 50 meters of layered medium dense silt and sand
overlying highly weathered to fresh granite. The soil
profile is shown in Figure 7
The proposed foundations of the bridge were
600 mm diameter x 100 mm thick open-ended prestressed concrete spun piles. The design specifications
required a 25-pile group at each pier location and an
ultimate pile capacity of 430 tons (working load of
215 tons). An extensive testing and monitoring program was carried out on two 9-pile groups totalling
18 test piles. Test piles, TP1 to TP9 was in one group
while the other group consisted of test piles, TP10 to
TP18. Due to space constraints at the site and equipment availability, the largest piling rig obtainable was
a Twinwood 10-ton single acting hydraulic drop hammer with a maximum hammer drop height of about 1.1
meter. It was initially anticipated that to achieve the
required capacities, the pile would have to be driven
to the very dense layer at a depth exceeding 50 m.
The details of the test pile installation are summarized in Table 2, showing some variations in the depth
of pre-bore, splice length, pile shoe and set condition
of the piles. Again, HSDPT were carried out on the test
piles at EOD and at various elapsed times after driving
to study the variation of pile resistance over time.

+35%

GL
0m

3 ~ 9 m thick
SOFT CLAY/LOOSE SILT
N = 0 10 blow s/ft
3

45 ~ 50 m thick
MEDIUM DENSE SILT/SAND
N = 10 30 blow s/ft

-35%

+35%

-35%
0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

HIGHLY WEATHERED TO
FRESH GRANITE

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


Figure 6. Shaft Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time from
EOD for KUITTHO.

Figure 7. Schematic Soil Profile at Route 6, Bayan Baru.

174

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Installation Details of Test Piles at Route 6, Bayan


SPT-N
Value
Prebore at/near
(m)
toe

Total
Blow
Count
(no.)

Pile
Ref.

Installation Details and


Final Set Measurements

TP1

pipe shoe,
12 + 15 + 15 + 15 m
2.1 mm/blow @ 53.2 m.

30

2755

TP2

pipe shoe,
12 + 15 + 15 + 15 m
1.0 mm/blow @ 52.8 m.
pipe shoe,
12 + 12 + 15 + 15 m
0.9 mm/blow @ 52.3 m.

30

2572

30

2861

pipe shoe,
2
12 + 12 + 12 + 12 m
12.0 mm/blow @ 46.5 m.
pipe shoe,
2
12 + 12 + 12 + 12 m
final length @ 46.5 m.
pipe shoe,
2
12 + 12 + 12 + 12 m
final length @ 46.5 m.

25

1362

25

1654

25

2321

no shoe, 15 + 15 + 15 m
final length @ 43.8 m.
no shoe, 15 + 15 + 15 m
final length @ 44.3 m.

25

2263

25

2091

25

2018

15

1055

TP3

TP4

TP5

TP6

TP7
TP8
TP9

no shoe, 15 + 15 + 15 m
final length @ 43.5 m.

TP10 pipe shoe,


12 + 15 + 15 m
final length @ 39.0 m.

3.2 Test results


During testing, efforts were made to mobilize the ultimate capacity of the piles by increasing the hammer
drop to its maximum height of 1.1 m if the measured
set at pile head was found to be less than 2.5 mm/blow.
Figure 8 shows the measured set of the pile head during
HSDPTs plotted against the elapsed time from EOD
for the two pile groups.
At EOD, the four piles that were driven into the
dense to very dense completely weathered granite (i.e.
TP1, TP2, TP3 and TP18; shown in solid markings)
achieved a much lower set than the fourteen floating piles (i.e. TP4 to TP17). However, the measured
set of all the piles reduced substantially over time
and were generally lower than 2.5 mm/blow after an
elapsed time of about 10 days. This suggests the significant increases in driving resistance over time and
that the ultimate capacities of the piles were not fully
mobilized by the testing performed at later days even
at the maximum hammer drop of 1.1 m of the 10-ton
hydraulic hammer.
The mobilized total and shaft resistances from
CAPWAP analyses are plotted versus elapsed time
from EOD in Figures 9 and 10 respectively. Generally all the piles showed an increasing trend in total
and shaft resistances over time with dominant variations occurring within a duration of 10 days. For
some piles however, significant increases were still
recorded between re-strikes that were performed later
than 10 days after EOD. It is also observed that the
30

TP11 no shoe, 12 + 12 + 12 m 2
16.2 mm/blow @ 34.5 m.

15

948

TP12 plate shoe,


12 + 12 + 15 + 15 m
8.0 mm/blow @ 53.0 m.

0.6

25

2420

TP13 pipe shoe,


12 + 15 + 15 m
9.7 mm/blow @ 40.8 m.

TP14 pipe shoe,


12 + 12 + 12 + 15 m
7.2 mm/blow @ 50.0 m.

TP15 pipe shoe,


12 + 12 + 15 + 15 m
8.7 mm/blow @ 52.5 m.

25

20

18

25

Set (mm)

Table 2.
Baru.

1755

2282

10

23

2223
5

TP16 no shoe, 15 + 15 + 15 m 2
12.8 mm/blow @ 43.8 m.

18

1450

TP17 plate shoe,


12 + 12 + 12 + 12 m
8.0 mm/blow @ 46.8 m.

22

2196

TP18 plate shoe,


12 + 15 + 15 + 15 m
2.0 mm/blow at 54.3 m.

0
0

12

16

20

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


30
>50

TP1

2260

TP2

TP3

TP4 - TP17 TP18

Figure 8. Measured Pile Head Set vs Elapsed Time from


EOD.

175

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

15

800

800

700

700

Shaft Resistance (ton)

Total Resistance (ton)

600

500

400

300

600

500

400

300

200

200
100

100
0
0

12

16

12

16

20

20

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


TP1

TP2

TP3

TP4

TP5

TP6

TP7

TP8

TP9

TP10

TP11

TP12

TP13

TP14

TP15

TP16

TP17

TP18

TP2

TP3

TP4

TP5

TP6

TP7

TP8

TP9

TP10

TP11

TP12

TP13

TP14

TP15

TP16

TP17

TP18

piles driven into the very dense completely weathered granite generally showed a temporary decrease
in resistance during the course of the re-strike program. Such a decrease may be related to relaxation of
the over-consolidated soils at/near the pile toe.
Figures 11 and 12 show the gain ratios versus
elapsed time from EOD on a logarithmic scale for
total and shaft resistances respectively. The gain ratios
obtained at final re-strikes for total resistance ranged
from 1.4 to 3.7 and for shaft resistance, ranged from
2.3 to 5.9. The gain ratios for total resistance are lower
due to under mobilization of resistance or probable
soil relaxation at the pile toe. Similar to case study I,
the data are narrowly banded in an increasing trend and
bounded within 35% of the trend lines.The equations
of the best-fit trend lines for total and shaft resistance
gain ratios are:
Total RGR = 0.13 Ln(day) + 1.79

(4)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.45

(5)

These equations are almost identical to those derived


from Case Study 1.
DISCUSSIONS

The data from the two case studies are combined


in Figures 13 and 14 to compare the trends of the

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

Total RGR = 0.13 Ln(day) + 1.79


4

+35%

+35%
-35%
1

-35%
0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)

Figure 11. Total Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time


from EOD for Route 6.

resistance gain ratios with elapsed time from EOD on


a logarithmic scale.
The plots clearly show that the data in both cases
exhibit a similar trend, i.e. increasing linearly in a

176

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

TP1

Figure 10. Shaft Resistance vs Elapsed Time from EOD for


Route 6.

Figure 9. Total resistance vs elapsed time from EOD for


Route 6.

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.45

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

+35%

-35%
+3 5%

Total RGR = 0.12 Ln(day) + 1.75


4

+35%

+35%
-35%

-35%
0
0.0001

0.001

-35%
0.01

0.1

10

0
0.0001

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)

0.01

0.1

10

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)

Figure 12. Shaft Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time


from EOD for Route 6.

Figure 13. Total Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time


from EOD for Both Case Studies.

narrow band with elapsed time on a logarithmic scale.


The data points generally fall within a band of 35%
from the best-fit trend line. This order of variation
is considered reasonably small in view of the spatial
and temporal variability of the factors affecting the
resistance.
In both case studies, the piles were driven through
similar geological formations, i.e. soft alluvial soils
into dense bearing strata with L/D ratios ranged from
50 to 100. The equations for the best-fit trend lines
derived from the combined data plotted in Figure 13
and Figure 14 are derived as follows:(6)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.48

(7)

It is observed from Figures 13 and 14 that the total


and shaft resistance gain ratios increased appreciably
within 10 days from EOD. Based on the best-fit trend
lines, the gain ratios for total and shaft resistances at
10 days from EOD are 2.0 and 3.0 respectively while
the gain ratios for total and shaft resistances at 28 days
after EOD are 2.1 and 3.3 respectively. This implies
that the pile resistance did not change appreciably
after 10 days subsequent to pile installation, keeping in
view that the toe resistance may not be fully mobilised
in cases after 10 days. Hence, load testing of piles
installed to the similar conditions of these studies may
be considered after an elapsed time of about 10 days.

Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR)

Total RGR = 0.12 Ln(day) + 1.75

+35%

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.45


4

-35%
+35%

-35%
0
0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

100

Elapsed Time from EOD (day)


Figure 14. Shaft Resistance Gain Ratio vs Elapsed Time
from EOD for Both Case Studies.

177

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

0.001

Further research is necessary to establish the trend


of resistance gain ratio for other geological formations,
pile types and longer elapsed time.

piling and to decide the suitable waiting period before


load testing a pile.
In general, the following guidelines may be considered for displacement piles driven through soft
alluvium into dense strata with L/D ratios of 50 to 100:-

CONCLUSIONS

The performance of twenty-eight large displacement


prestressed concrete piles of moderate to long penetration driven through thick coastal alluvium overlying
very dense strata are studied. High Strain Dynamic
Pile Tests (HSDPT) were carried out at end of drive
(EOD) and over a maximum elapsed time of 29
days. The results are analyzed using CAPWAP which
computes the pile shaft and toe resistances using a
signal-matching algorithm.
A new term, Resistance Gain Ratio (RGR) is
proposed which is expressed as a ratio of pile resistance obtained at restrike to pile resistance at EOD.
The Resistance Gain Ratio plotted against elapsed
time from end of drive on a logarithmic scale showed
distinct and similar trends in both case studies. The
equations for the best-fit tend lines for the Resistance
Gain Ratio for total and shaft resistances are derived
as follows:Total RGR = 0.12 Ln(day) + 1.75

(8)

Shaft RGR = 0.25 Ln(day) + 2.48

(9)

The resistance gain ratio relationships developed


above may be applied to predict the magnitude and rate
of pile resistance variation over time. The information
can be used to predict the long term resistance of piles
based on the driving resistance observed at the time of

The total and shaft resistance gain ratios at 10 days


after pile installation are 2.0 and 3.0 respectively
with a variation of 35%.
The total and shaft resistance gain ratios at 28 days
after pile installation are 2.1 and 3.3 respectively
with a variation of 35%.
The waiting period before carrying out pile load testing should be 10 days after installation of the pile.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors would like to thank the Director General,
Public Works Department Malaysia for permission to
publish the paper.
REFERENCES
ASTM D4945-00 (2000), Standard Test Method for High
Strain Testing of Piles.
CAPWAP Manual, (1995) Goble, Rausche, Likins and Associates Inc., Cleaveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
Hanifah, A.A., Omar, M.N., Rahman, N.F.A. and Ong,
T.K. (2004). Dynamic Pile Testing Using Pile Driving
Analyzer (PDA) and Pile Integrity Test (PIT) Phase II,
Research Report, JKR 20601-LK-0086-GT-05, Public
Works Department Malaysia.
PDA-W Manual of Operation, (2000). Pile Dynamics Inc.,
U.S.A.

178

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Group effect on model piles under axial monotonic loading


Alain Le Kouby
Department for Soil and Rock Mechanics and Engineering Geology, LCPC, Paris

Jean Canou & Jean Claude Dupla


Soil Mechanics laboratory, CERMES, Paris

ABSTRACT: We present in this paper the results of a parametric study carried out in a calibration chamber on
instrumented model piles. The aim is to point out group effect on piles within a group through their resulting shaft
friction and tip resistance. The methodology relies on the study of the influence of adjacent piles on a reference
pile. The soil used is a silica sand (Fontainebleau sand). The influence of parameters like pile spacing, number
of piles, and direction of loading are evaluated. The results show a positive effect on shaft friction of the group
effect and a negative effect on tip resistance. Efficiency factors are defined in order to have a better view on the
parameters influencing the response of the pile within a group.

INTRODUCTION

Soil improvement using the technique of piles is


commonly used in civil engineering. It consists in
transferring the load to the substratum through shaft
friction and tip resistance, both parameters controlling
the bearing capacity of the pile.
Besides micropiles are generally used in great number and close to each other showing a significant group
effect.
Therefore, it is important to study and try to quantify
the interaction between the piles on each inclusions
response which is called group effect. An experimental set-up has been developed at CERMES-LCPC,
a calibration chamber to study the vertical response of
single pile and groups through the head load, the shaft
friction and the tip resistance.
Within this context, a specific approach was chosen
to clarify these aspects (Francis, 1997). The objective
of the proposed paper is to present the results of an
experimental work aimed at studying the influence of
parameters like pile spacing, the number of piles and
the direction of loading on the response of piles.
2
2.1

EXPERIMENTAL SETUP AND TESTING


PROCEDURE
Experimental set-up

It is composed of a calibration chamber where we can


prepare a 700 mm high and 520 mm in diameter sample, with a controlled density ratio, using the pluviation

Figure 1. General view of a calibration chamber.

technique and a procedure close to the classical triaxial


procedure. It is possible to apply independent vertical
and horizontal consolidation stresses (K0 state). The
design of the upper part of the cell allows the installation and subsequent loading of the model pile. A
picture of the general view of the experimental set-up
is shown on Figure 1, with on the right the data acquisition system and on the left the loading test of a model
pile with the loading system
The latter is a servo-controlled hydraulic actuator
and can apply various types of loading (monotonic or
cyclic).
As far as the installation process is concerned, a
method by jacking has been chosen. The jacked piles

179

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

are installed with the help of the long jack (at the top)
after the soil mass preparation.
The model pile is a metallic inclusion with a diameter of 20 mm, controlled shaft roughness and equipped
with a miniature force transducer for tip resistance
and instrumented shaft element for elementary shaft
friction measurement.
The tip is conical, the measurement shaft is 200 mm
long. After the installation process, the pile is centered
on the middle of the soil mass for the loading test i.e.
at equal distance from both end plates (250 mm) and
in order to minimize end plates effects.
In addition, Puech (1975) stated that it is necessary to allow a distance of about 5d between the tip
of the model and the bottom end plate to minimize its
influence on tip resistance mobilization. In our device,
the distance between the tip and the bottom plate is
200 mm (i.e. 10d) and the measurement shaft is at a
distance of 20 mm from the tip so that the tip will not
influence the shaft mobilization (Been et al., 1986 ;
Mokrani, 1991).
The ratio between the diameter of the cell and the
model pile diameter is 26, which is acceptable to minimize the effects of the sample size for the tested
inclusions in loose to medium sand (Been et al., 1986;
Foray, 1991).
2.2 Testing procedure
For the jacked pile, after preparation of the soil mass at
a given density and consolidation stresses (anisotropic
(K0 condition)), the pile models are installed using a
jacking rig; the soil around the pile is remoulded.
After the pile installation, the pile is embedded by
500 mm within the sand mass so that the 200 mm skin
friction gauge is not influenced by the top plate and
the tip is at a distance of 10 diameters from the bottom
plate. The behaviour of the model pile in this study
can be assimilated to the behaviour of a pile at those
initial soil conditions (relative density and confining
pressures).
Then, in the case of a single pile, the loading phase
is carried out to get the bearing capacity. As far as
the pile groups are concerned, the next phases depend
on the installation order (see paragraph 3). For example, in the case of an installation order C1 (soil mass
M2) (see paragraph 3), the testing procedure is as
follows:
Preparation of the soil mass
Installation by jacking of the center pile
Monotonic loading of the center pile until failure
in order to get the reference bearing capacity of the
single pile in terms of pile head load, shaft friction
and tip resistance. It will be compared to the bearing
capacity of the group
Installation of the 4 adjacent pile
Loading of the 5-pile group (test M2-G5)

Figure 2. Overview of a tension test on a 5-pile group (Le


Kouby, 2003).

Installation of the 4 corner piles


Loading of the 9-pile group (test M2-G9)
During the installation and the loading phases, data
acquisition is recorded for the pile head displacement and force measured as well as the tip and shaft
measurements.
The above testing procedure is valid for the case of
compression tests and the tension tests.
Besides, for the tensions tests an additional frame
has been developed in order to link the loading jack
and the loaded piles in tension (Figure 2).

3.1 Objectives
The scope of this work is to point out group effect
on piles through bearing capacity of a group and in
particular on the shaft friction and tip resistance of a
pile within a group.

180

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

OBJECTIVES AND EXPERIMENTAL


PROGRAM

C1

Figure 3. Elementary cell chosen: (a) great number of piles


within a group; (b) 9-pile group cell and (c) 5-pile group cell
(center pile = generic pile).

The methodology used, developed by Francis


(1997) (Figure 3) can be described as follows: at first
we consider a group of piles characterized by a great
number of generic piles (i.e. submitted to the effect
of adjacent piles). In order to point out the effect of
these adjacent piles on the generic pile, it has been
decided to study the group of 9 piles with a central
inclusion submitted to the influence of the 8 adjacent
piles.
In addition, an other hypothesis has been made considering that the 4 closest piles have got the most
influence on the center pile (generic pile).
Elementary cells have been studied to check this
hypothesis. Tests on groups of 5 and 9 piles have been
carried out. An additional parameter has been considered; the direction of loading as the generic pile will
have a different behaviour according to the steps in the
piles installation.
For the 5-pile groups, 2 different cells have been
considered with their own installation order (C1); Figure 4). For C1, the center pile is installed at first and
the adjacent piles afterwards.
In the case of 9 pile group, again, one type of cell
has been considered with its own installation order
(C1) (Figure 4). For C1, the center pile is installed,
followed by the 4 closest adjacent piles and then by
the 4 last piles.
We study the influence of parameters such as pile
spacing, number of piles (1, 5 and 9) and direction
of loading for the case of 5-pile groups on the pile
group response. Besides, we focus on the mechanical
behaviour on the center pile (generic pile) representing the pile within a group through the shaft friction
and the tip resistance measured.
Then, we try to quantify group effect and get an idea
of the additional load taken by a pile within a group ;
through different group efficiency factors:
a group efficiency factor for the total load carried
by the group and two efficiency factor

C1
Figure 4. Elementary cells of 5 and 9 piles studied for an
installation order C1.

the shaft friction of the generic pile (center pile)


and,
the tip resistance of the generic pile.
3.2 Experimental program
The experimental program has been defined to point
out the influence of some parameters on the interaction
effects between piles within a group (table 1).
The tests have been carried out in dry Fontainebleau
sand (reference sand in France). This material has
got the following characteristics (D50 = 200 mm,
emax = 0.94 and emin = 0.54, s = 26.5 kN/m3 ) and is
sub-rounded.
The initial conditions chosen for those tests are: a
density ratio of 0.50 and consolidation stresses with a


K0 type (K0 = 0.40, v0
= 125 kPa and h0
= 50 kPa).
The first two tests are done to get the reference
bearing capacity in compression of the single pile (M1S1 and M2-S1) and in tension (M3-S1 and M4-S1)
(table 1).
Two separate sets of tests have been done: M1-G5,
M6-G5, M3-G5 and M4-G5 for the tests on 5-pile

181

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1. Experimental program (test Mi-S1: test on single


pile in soil mass I; Mi-G5: test on 5-pile group in soil mass i;
Mi-G9: test on 9-pile group in soil mass I; Type: type of test
(T: tension or C: compression; eR : pile spacing ratio (ratio
distance between 2 piles on pile diameter)).
Test

eR

Type

M1
M2
M3
M4

M1-S1
M2-S1
M3-S1
M5-S1

1
1
1
1

C
C
T
T

M1
M6
M3
M4
M2
M11

M1-G5
M6-G5
M3-G5
M5-G5
M2-G9
M11-G9

5
5
5
5
9
9

2.83
4
2.83
4
2,83
2,83

C
C
T
T
C
C

Pile headload (kN)

Soil mass

0
Single jacked pile
ID = 0,50 v = 125 kPa h = 50 kPa

-1

Compression test (M1-S1)


(M3-S1)
Tension test

-2
-3

(a)

Unit skin friction (kPa)

4 TEST RESULTS ON SINGLE PILE

-1

Pile head displacement (mm)

40

20

-20

-40

-60
-3

-2

-1

(b)

Pile head load (mm)


8

Unit end bearing (MPa)

On Figures 5(a), (b) and (c), we show typical results of


the response of a single pile under monotonic loading
through the total load, the tip resistance and the shaft
friction.
The three maximum values obtained can be considered as reference values in comparison with the
response of a pile within a group.
In addition, according to the loading phase, a first
loading is carried out until a maximum load followed
by an unloading phase. Then, a re-loading is done and
the maximum values reached for the pile head load,
tip resistance and the shaft friction are similar to the
values obtained during the first loading phase.
This result shows, for compression, that the main
variations in the soil-pile interface occur during the
installation phase. A loading unloading re-loading
phase has less effect on the response of the pile. This
procedure validates the tests on groups. Indeed, for
instance, the center pile can be installed at first and
then loaded as a single pile in order to have the reference resistance and then the adjacent piles are installed
and the pile group is loaded.
These different phases of loading unloading and
re-loading will not have important effect on the center
pile response (order of installation C1).
In the case of tension test, one can notice that the
skin friction mobilised in the compression test is bigger than the skin friction mobilised in the tension test.

-2

60

groups and tests M2-G9 and M11-G9 for the tests on


the 9-pile groups.
In the case of 5-pile groups, we study the influence
of pile spacing (tests M1-G5 and M6-G5 for 5-pile
groups in compression and M3-G5 and M4-G5 for 5pile groups in tension). For the 9-pile group case, we
carried out 2 tests for repeatability.

0
0

(c)

Pile head displacement (mm)

Figure 5. Single pile response under monotonic loading,


Influence of the direction of loading on the loading model
jacked pile response on (a) pile head load and (b) shaft friction
and (c) tip resistance for compression test

182

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

25

Pile head load (kN)

Pile head load (kN)

20

15
v = 125 kPa h= 50 kPa ID = 0,50
eR = 2,83 Installation order C1
Single pile
(testM1-S1)
Group of 5 piles(testM1-G5)
Group of 9 piles(testM2-G9)

10

ID = 0,50 v= 125 kPa h= 50kPa


eR = 2,83Installationorder C1
Single pile
(test M1-S1)
Group of 5 piles (test M1-G5)
Group of 9 piles (test M2-G9)

-1

0
0

12

16

20

Figure 7. Typical result of the pile head load on a single


pile, a center pile in the cases respectively of a 5-pile group
and a 9-pile group.

Figure 6. Typical result of the total load response on a single


pile, a 5-pile group and a 9-pile group.

It can be explained by the installation method as the


jacking phase provokes a remoulding of the zone of
soil around the pile.
Tension tests can be considered as a decompression
phase of the soil around the pile at the tip and on the
shaft. In addition to the changes in radial stresses along
the pile shaft relating to the loading path (compressive
versus tensile loading), this difference in skin friction
may also be attributed to residual loads induced by
driving and generating negative friction stresses along
the pile shaft.
5 TEST RESULTS ON PILE GROUP
5.1 Typical results
For the installation phase of a 5-pile group (case of C1),
as the number of jacked pile increases, the necessary
load to jack a pile within the group increases. Hence,
the pile head load increases from the first pile to the
5th (center pile).
The results of the loading of 1-pile, 5pile group
and 9-pile group through total load show an increasing load to reach the failure as the number of piles
increases (Figure 6). Such is also the case for pile head
load on the center pile, shaft friction and tip resistance
on the center pile (Figures 7 and 8 (a) and (b)).
In addition, in the case of the single pile, failure
is reached at a displacement of about 1mm (0.05d,
with d: diameter of the pile) and its limit resistance is
about 4 kN. In the case of the 5-pile group, the maximum load reaches 18 kN for a displacement of 2,5 mm
(about 12.5% d) and for the 9-pile group 24 kN after a
displacement of 22.5% d (not shown on Figure 6).

Besides, the center pile carries a short part of the


load applied on the group for the installation order
C1 (Figure 7). Indeed, the proportion of shaft friction
and tip resistance mobilized is low showing that the
corner pile carries most of the load until a maximum
settlement.
This settlement covers a range: [2.5 mm for a 5-pile
group and 6 mm for a 9-pile group]. The shape of the
shaft friction curve curves underlines this specificity
with a stiff response at the beginning of the loading
and then a small increased of the load carried by the
center pile and then the failure (Figure 8).
The shaft friction and the tip resistance increase as
pile spacing ratio decreases. In addition, the shaft friction of the center pile is bigger than the shaft friction
measured in the case of a single pile although the tip
resistance of the center pile is always smaller than the
tip resistance of the single pile. A first remark is that
the displacement required by the group to reach its
maximum value is much more important than in the
case of the single pile.
5.2 Parametric study on the pile group response
The influence of pile spacing ratio is shown on Figure 9
in the case of 5-pile groups and of the installation order
C1 with the tests M1-G5 and M6-G5.
At first, Figure 9(a) shows an interesting feature
with the pile group head load similar in the two cases
In this paragraph, we focus on the behaviour of the
center pile and especially the unit loads carried by this
pile (shaft friction and tip resistance).
On the center pile, for shaft friction (Figure 9(b)),
we notice similar shapes of the curves for the values

183

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Pile head displacement (mm)

Pile head displacement (mm)

100

25

20

Pile head load (kN)

Shaft friction (kPa)

80

60

40

20
v= 125 kPah
0

Center pile
h 50 kPa

15

5-pile group
v = 125 kPa

10

ID= 0,50

eR= 2,83Installation order C1


Single p
(teilest M1-S1)
Group of 5 piles (test M1-G5)
Group of 9 piles (test M2-G9)

eR= 2,83 (M1-G5)


eR= 4
(M6-G5)

-20
0

Pile head displacement (mm)

(a)

120

Shaft friction (kPa)

Tip resistance (MPa)

Pile head displacement (mm)

(a)

10

h = 50 kPa

Installation order C1

80

40
5-pile group
Central pile
v = 125 kPa h = 50 kPa
Installation order C1
eR= 2,83 (M1-G5)
(M6-G5)
eR=4

-40
0

0
0

(b)

Pile head displacement (mm)

of the pile spacing ratio (2.83 and 4) and similar maximum values obtained (81 and 85 kPa). For a pile
spacing ratio of 2.83, the displacements necessary to
reach the maximum values are 3 mm and the maximum values obtained are 85 kPa. For the tip resistance,
the differences are more important with a tip resistance which is decreasing as the pile spacing ratio is
increasing.
Therefore, the distribution of load on the adjacent
piles might be different as the pile head loads on
the central pile (shaft friction and tip resistance) are
different for the 2 pile spacing ratio studied in this
paper.
Besides, for the shaft friction, the residual stresses
(Figures 5(b) and 9(b)) measured for the pile group

Tip resistance (MPa)

Figure 8. Typical result of the shaft friction (a) and tip resistance (b) on a single pile, a center pile in the cases respectively
of a 5-pile group and a 9-pile group.

3
5-pile group
Central pile
v = 125 kPa h = 50 kPa
Installation orderC1
eR= 2,83 (M1-G5)
(M6-G5)
eR= 4

1
0

(c)

Pile head displacement (mm)

Figure 9. Influence of pile spacing on the total load on the


5-pile group (a) on shaft friction (b) and tip resistance (c).

184

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Pile head displacement (mm)

(b)

With QGlim : maximum total load obtained for the group


QT : bearing capacity of single pile
n: number of piles

Pile head displacement (mm)


-6

-4

-2

Shaft friction (kPa)

-40

5-pile group- Tension tests


Central pile
ID = 0,50 v = 125 kPa h = 50kPa
Installation orderC1
eR = 2,83
eR = 4

CE =

QPgroup
QP sin gle

(2)

With QPgroup : maximum total load obtained for the


center pile
QPsingle : bearing capacity of single pile

-80

CEPf =

fsgc
fS,max

(3)

-120

With fsgc : maximum shat friction


fs,max : maximum shaft friction of single pile
-160

CEPq =

Figure 10. Influence of pile spacing on shaft friction in the


case of tension tests on 5-pile group.

case are bigger than the ones measured on the single


pile.
This is probably due to the tension loading of the
installed pile through the installation process of the
adjacent piles.
For the tip resistance (Figures 5(c) and 9(c)), such
is also the case with residual stresses smaller in the
case of pile groups as if the pile was unloaded.
For tension tests (Figure 10), cells of 5-pile have
been studied. We focus, in this paper, on the response
of the center pile in terms of shaft friction mobilised
in the case of 2 pile spacing. The shapes of the curves
look similar to the compression curves showing the
same type of behaviour as the compression.
Besides, the biggest value of shaft friction is
obtained for the smaller pile spacing. The shaft friction measured are in the same order as the case of
compression with values of 134 kPa for eR = 2.83
and 97 kPa for eR = 4; values bigger than in the case
of compression loads.
6

QUANTIFICATION OF GROUP EFFECT

From the results obtained in the previous paragraph,


we are going to quantify the influence of the different
parameters on group effect.
In order to quantify group effects i.e. to compare the
behaviour of a pile within a group and a single pile, we
present 4 efficiency factors; relative to the total load
on the group (CE ), relative to the center pile head load
(CEP ), relative to the shaft friction of the center pile
(CEPf ) and relative to the tip resistance of the center
pile (CEPq ). They are defined as follows:
CE =

QG lim
n Q T

(1)

(4)

With qPgc : maximum shaft friction


qP,max : maximum tip resistance of single pile
In this paper, the study focuses on the efficiency factors relative to shaft friction (CEPf ) and tip resistance
(CEPq ).
Besides, the efficiency factors should be estimated
by comparing the load per pile in pile groups with the
load of a reference single pile at the same settlement.
A reference settlement could be chosen (2 mm: 10%
pile diameter). However, we choose the following definition: the efficiency factors are calculated using the
ratio between the maximum load of the pile within a
group and the maximum load of the single pile in order
to point out group effect in terms of load.
The settlement necessary to reach the maximum
loads is an other issue, we will not consider here.
The results show an efficiency factor relative to
shaft friction, nearly always bigger than 1 which means
a positive group effect. Nevertheless, for the tip resistance, the efficiency factor is smaller than one leading
to a negative group effect.
At first, we consider the influence of pile spacing
ratio on the efficiency factor relative to shaft friction
and tip resistance of the center pile.
Shaft friction : the efficiency factor decreases as pile
spacing ratio increases.
Tip resistance: the efficiency factor decreases as pile
spacing ratio increases.
As far as the 9-pile group is concerned, we analyze
the difference between the behaviour of the center pile
within a 5-pile group and a 9-pile group (Figure 11)
in the case of the installation order C1 for eR = 2.83.
Shaft friction: for the case of 2.83, values tend to
reach. The assumption that the behaviour of 5 and
9-pile groups are similar seems to be validated for

185

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

qPgc
qP,max

Table 2. Results in terms of efficiency factors (test Mi-S1:


test on single pile in soil mass I; Mi-G5: test on 5-pile group
in soil mass i; Mi-G9: test on 9-pile group in soil mass I; T:
type of test (T: tension or C: compression; eR : pile spacing
ratio (ratio distance between 2 piles on pile diameter)) and
(md: medium dense). T: type.

Group efficiency factor CEPf

2.00

1.50

test

eR

ID

CEPf

CEPq

M1
M6
M3
M4
M2
M11

M1-G5
M6-G5
M3-G5
M5-G5
M2-G9
M11-G9

5
5
5
5
9
9

2.83
4
2.83
4
2.83
2.83

0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5

C
C
T
T
C
C

1.6
1.55
2.27
1.61
1.18
1.22

0.66
0.57

0.50
0.60

Phung (1993)
T1
T1G
T2
T2
T3
T3

5
5
5

4
6
8

0.38
0.67
0.62

C
C
C

2.56
3.19
2.00

2.00
0.85
1.03

Al Douri (1992)
4PDC1 (v = 100)
4PDC2 (v = 200)

4
4

4
4

md
md

T
T

1.66
1.22

1.83

1.00

Center pile
Installation order C1
ID = 0,50
5-pile group v = 125 kPa h = 50 kPa
9-pile group v = 125 kPa h = 50 kPa

0.50

0.00
0

Pile spacing ratio eR


1.00

Group efficiency factor CEPq

Soil
mass

0.80

Briaud et al. (1989)


3

0.67

0.60

pile was driven at first and loaded until failure to


get the single pile capacity and then the 4 adjacent
piles are driven (order of installation C1)
Al Douri (1992) has done laboratory tension tests
on 4 jacked pile group in medium dense carbonate
sand.
Briaud et al. (1989) carried out in situ tests on a
5-driven pile group in sand.

0.40

0.20

0.00
0

Pile spacing ratio eR


Figure 11. Influence of the number of piles and of pile spacing, on the group efficiency factors relative to shaft friction
CEPf and tip resistance CEPq .

the behaviour of 5 and 9-pile group for a pile spacing


ratio of 2.83 and need to be checked for bigger pile
spacing.
Tip resistance: values are smaller than 1 and the
values obtained for the two values of pile spacing
are close. Again, our hypothesis on the behaviour of
5 and 9-pile groups seems to be validated.
The pile spacing ratio of 2.83 seem to show that the
behaviour of the center pile is close in a 5-pile group
and in a 9-pile group.
We can compare our data (table 2) with the results
of other authors. Their work is described as follows:
Phung (1993) has carried out in situ compression
tests in sand on groups of 5 driven piles, the center

For groups of 4 to 5 piles, the results relative to


shaft friction, for pile spacing ratios of 3 and 4, show
efficiency factors included in a range of 1.22 to 2.56
similar to our range of values.
In addition, the values relative to tip resistance are
included in a range of 0.67 and 2.00 which is far from
our results as we always get values smaller than 1.
7

The results presented in this paper allow us to rely


on some results. Indeed, based on the methodology
developed by Francis (1997), we focus our study on
the mechanical behaviour of the center pile (pile within
the group) surrounded by adjacent piles.
We then are able to show a positive group effect on
shaft friction and a negative one on tip resistance.
The parametric study shows that group effect is the
most favourable when pile spacing is small.
As far as the number of piles is concerned, we notice
that for a pile spacing ratio of 2.83, the results obtained
are similar in terms of efficiency factor. A specific

186

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONCLUSIONS

study could be carried out to check this hypothesis for


bigger pile spacing
Besides, we can notice the range of values for different pile spacing and number of piles is still important.
Complementary research can be defined to achieve the
influence of those parameters.
The hypothesis, considering that we can study the
behaviour of 5-pile group in the same way as a 9-pile
group, needs to be pursued for bigger pile spacing ratio
as it is only checked for one pile spacing ratio : 2.83
and as the pile spacing ratio of 2 is a particular case.
Our values are also compared with other authors
showing a good similarity in the case of shaft friction in terms of efficiency factors. However, for the
tip resistance some differences appear as efficiency
factors are found to be smaller than one.
REFERENCES
Al Douri, R.H. (1992). Behaviour of single piles and pile
groups in calcareous sediments. Ph.D. Thesis, University
of Sydney. Australia
Been, K., Crooks, J. H. A., Becker, D. E. & Jefferies, M. G.
(1986). The cone penetration test in sands : part I, state
parameter interpretation. Gotechnique, Vol.36, N : 2,
pp. 239249.
Foray, P. (1991). Scale and boundary effects on calibration
chamber pile tests. Proceedings of the 1st International
Symposium on Calibration Chamber Testing/ISOCCT1,
Potsdam, New York, pp. 147160.
Francis, R. (1997). Etude du comportement mcanique de
micropieux modles en chambre dtalonnage. Application aux effets de groupe. Thse de Doctorat de lENPC.

Francis, R., Le Kouby, A. Canou, J. et Dupla, J.C. (2001).


Comportement de pieux modles soumis des chargements cycliques. Comptes rendus du 15me Congrs
International de Mcanique des Sols, Istanbul, Vol. 2,
pp. 898900.
Le Kouby, A. (2003) Contribution ltude des pieux et
micropieux sous chargement monotone et cyclique. Thse
de doctorat de lENPC.
Lizzi F. & Carneval, G. (1979). Les rseaux de pieux racines
pour la consolidation des sols. Aspects thoriques et essais
sur modles. Comptes-rendus du Colloque International
sur le renforcement des sols, Vol. 2, pp. 317324.
Mokrani, L. (1991). Simulation physique du comportement
des pieux grande profondeur en chambre dtalonnage.
Thse de Doctorat de linstitut National Polytechnique de
Grenoble.
ONeill, M. W., Hawkins, R.A. and Mahar, L.J. (1982). Load
transfer mechanisms in piles and pile groups. Journal Of
Geotechnical Engineering Division, Proceedings Of The
American Society Of Civil Engineers, ASCE, Vol. 108,
No. GT12.
ONeill, M. W., Hawkins, R.A. and Audibert, M. E. (1982).
Installation of pile group in overconsolidated clay. Journal
Of Geotechnical Engineering Division, Proceedings Of
The American Society Of Civil Engineers, ASCE, Vol.
108, No. GT11, pp. 13691386.
Phung, D. L. (1993). Footings with settlement-reducing piles
in non-cohesive soil. Ph.D. Thesis, Chalmers University
of Technology.
Puech, A., Foray, P., Boulon, M. & Desrues, J. (1975). Calcul
des pieux larrachement partir dun modle numrique
en contraintes effectives-premiers rsultats. Proceeding
of the 7th European Conference on Soils Mechanics and
Foundation Engineering, Brighton, Vol. 1, pp. 227233.

187

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

2D numerical modeling of Pile-net composite foundation of high-speed


railway embankment in soft soils
Jian-Dong Niu, Lin-Rong Xu, Bao-Chen Liu & Da-Wei L
School of Civil & Architecture, Central South Univ., Changsha, China

ABSTRACT: Sand columns have been commonly used to support embankments over soft soil. The inclusion
of geosynthetics reinforcement over sand columns is intended to enhance load transfer from soil to columns,
reduce total and differential settlements, and increase slope stability. Therefore, it creates a more economical
alternative. A constructed geosynthetics-reinforced embankment over sand columns at certain high-speed railway
trial embankment, Huaqiao, Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, China was selected for the numerical modeling and
analysis. This embankment was constructed to support railway over very soft soil. The sand columns were
installed in triangular arrangement and column types. A high strength woven geotextile was used above the sand
columns over the soft soil between columns. Instrumentation was installed to monitor the settlements of the
embankment and the strains in the geotextile over time. The computed settlements of the embankment and the
strains in geotextile reinforcement compared reasonably well with the measured results.

INTRODUCTION

The increasing occupation of the ground over the last


decades, due to economical and social development
of the populations, has led to the necessity of using
soils with bad geotechnical characteristics as foundation of multiple engineering works. Particularly, the
construction of embankments on soft soils, characterized by their low strength, high deformability and low
permeability, has become nowadays an increasing reality, despite the difficulties associated to these works,
generally related to overall stability deficiency and to
high settlements that develop slowly.
In recent years geotechnical engineers have developed several alternatives to solve these problems,
including preloading or stage construction, using lightweight fill, over excavation and replacement, geosynthetics reinforcement, soil improvement techniques,
and composite foundation.
Composite foundations have been used with or
without geosynthetics reinforcements. A system without geosynthetics reinforcements is referred to herein
as the conventional composite foundation while the
system with geosynthetics reinforcements is referred
as the pile-net composite foundation. Conventional
and pile-net composite foundations have been used
columnar systems, such as: vibro-concrete columns,
soil-cement columns by mixing or grouting, stone
columns or sand columns.
The pile net composite foundations have been used
for several applications. Reid and Buchanan (1984)

reported that this technique was used for preventing


differential settlement between an approach embankment constructed over soft soil and a bridge abutment
supported by long piles. A similar project was completed by using soil-cement mixing columns instead
of concrete piles, which were presented by Lin and
Wong (1999). Rao Wei-guo and Zhao Cheng-gang
(2002) have made some initial researches in the analysis of stress ratio of pile net composite foundation and
explained residue settlement by sheet plate theory.
Sand columns have been commonly used to support
embankments over soft soil. The inclusion of geosynthetics reinforcement over sand columns is intended
to enhance load transfer from soil to columns, reduce
total and differential settlements, and increase slope
stability. As a result, it creates a more economical
alternative. A constructed geosynthetics-reinforced
embankment over sand columns at certain high-speed
railway trial embankment, Huaqiao, Kunshan, Jiangsu
Province, China, was selected for the numerical modeling and analysis. This embankment was constructed
to support railway over very soft soil. The sand
columns were installed in triangular arrangement and
column types. A high strength woven geotextile was
used above the sand columns over the soft soil between
columns.
In order to verify the accuracy of the numerical
model used in this paper, this paper compared numerical and field results of reinforced embankments on soft
soils, The computed settlements of the embankment

189

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Depth(m)

Soil Profile
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

Vane Strength
Suv(kPa)

AtterbergLimits(%)

Unit Weight(kN/m3)
0

Clay

PL

Wn

LL

Mucky Clay

Clay

Silt clay

The silt mixture of


sand and clay

silt sand
0

25

25
5

15

16

17

18

19

25
15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55

20

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Figure 1. General soils profile and soil properties at the site.

and the strains in geotextile reinforcement compared


reasonably well with the measured results.
2

Embankment
Geosynthetic

reinforced sand cushion

EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT SURVEY

Pile
Soil

2.1

Site condition

Based on bore hole surveying and some in-situ measurements, the roadbed of the railway embankment
section, located from K0+711m mileage to K0+855m
mileage on Huaqiao, Kunshan, Jiangsu Province,
China, consists of artificial earth fill, mucky clay, silty
clay containing some stiff-plasticity clay and dust sand
and the general soil profile and the basic properties
are given in Fig. 1. The roadbed is composed of five
discrete stratigraphic units.
(1) A surface layer of artificial earth fill of brownyellow clay, loose, extending to approximately
3.0 m below ground surface.
(2) A mucky clay, extending approximately from 3.0 m
to 6.5 m below ground surface.
(3) A clay layer of white-grey stiff-plasticity clay,
mixed with brown-yellow clay, extending to
approximately from 6.5 to 12.0 m, and this may
divide into five sub-levels.
(4) The silt mixture of sand and clay layer, extending
approximately from 12.0 to 16.5 m.
(5) The silt clay layer of white-grey, center dense and
saturated, extending approximately from 16.5 to
23.5 m.

soft soil
Firm soil bedrock

Figure 2. Components of pile-net composition foundation


system.

1:1.5 V/H inclined slope. Soft embankment applied


preload ways such as sand column combination, which
is of 15 m length, 2 m spacing gap, 0.4 m diameter and
triangular arrangement. Sand column was constructed
by vibration way (repeated to pull and vibration) with
DZJ90 and DZJ175 construction equipments. The filling of Soft embankment includes sand cushion stage
and granular soil stage. Sand column and sand cushion
used middle rough sand and 0.6 m thickness of sand
cushion with a layer of geogrid in it.
Construction of the embankment started from May
25, 2003 to October 17, 2003; totally 145 days, and
the height of the embankment was 6.3 meter. The fill
thickness/time curve is also indicated in Fig. 3.

2.2 Trial embankment and instrumentation

2.3 Equipment layout and monitor

Trial embankment has 13.8 m section crest, 0.2 m extra


widen in both sides, 4.5 m field height,1.8 m over loading, 6.3 m total fill height, staged construction and

The instrumentation comprised magnetic settlement gauges (the deepest gauge is approximately
30 m below ground level), hydraulic profile gauges,

190

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Load (kPa)

160
120
80
40
0
03-5-18

03-7-17

03-9-15

03-11-14

04-1-13

04-3-13

04-5-12

Date
Figure 3. The fill thickness/time curve.

central left railway central right railway

(1)
(2)

piezometer
magnetic settlement gauges

(3) 3

inclinometers
Side pile
hydraulic settlement profile gauge

(3) 4

settlement plate
flexible displacement sensor

(3) 5

(4) 1

Figure 4. Sketch of instrument distribution.

inclinometers, settlement plate, piezometer, soil pressure sell, deep pressure cell, flexible displacement
sensor.
3
3.1

NUMERICAL MODEL AND PROBLEM


CONSIDERED
Numerical model

A 2D plane strain finite element method was employed


to model this embankment. The geometry of the test
embankment was assumed symmetric so that half
of embankment was selected for calculation. Sand
columns were modeled as 2-D continuous walls. The
water table was assumed to be 1m below ground level
and the initial pore pressures prior to embankment
construction were taken to be hydrostatic. The centerline of the embankment (a line of symmetry) and
the far field lateral boundary were taken to be smooth
and rigid with the lateral boundary located 50 m from

the centerline. The bottom of the finite element mesh


was assumed to be rough and rigid. The mesh consists of approximately 1667 6-noded elements, which
is refined in areas where high stress gradients can be
expected. The mesh was deliberately chosen to be relatively fine in order to minimize the discretisation error
(Figure 5.).
Increase and dissipate of excess pore press should
be considered in calculation because the effective
stress remains low during the construction of embankment. The excess pore pressure will dissipate because
the settlement will start to consolidate due to drain
behavior and very low permeability causes long time
consolidation after construction. The left will not drain
water because it is a line of symmetry. The right vertical boundary should also be closed because there is
no free outflow at the boundary. The upper foundation
surface and the bottom are drainage boundary. Model
was analyzed and simulated as real construction shown
in Fig. 2 in order to simulate real construction steps.

191

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

3.3 The equivalent sand columns in a plane strain


problem
Strictly speaking, discrete sand piles should be considered as a 3-D analysis, whereas, most embankments
are modeled for plane strain conditions. To avoid the
necessity for a full 3-D analysis, some approximations are required to consider the sand columns in a
plane strains analysis. The equivalent sand columns in
a plane strain problem include stiffness matching and
permeability matching.

Figure 5. Finite element mesh subcomponents of pile-net


composition foundation system.

3.2

Material models and parameters

Nine different materials are involved in this complex


system: 5 layers of foundation soil, mat, embankment fill, sand columns, and geosynthetic. Due to
the complexity of the problem itself, some simplified constitutive models have been adopted in this
analysis within reasonable accuracy. Embankment fill,
soft soils, and sand columns were modeled as elastic perfectly plastic materials. Mohr-Coulomb failure
envelop was used as the failure criterion. The properties of all the materials in the case are summarized
in Table 1. The elastic module of soils were determined based on a common correlation of E = 100 qu
(qu = unconfined compression strength of soil) (for
example, Probaha, 2000; Bruce, 2001).
The geosynthetics was modeled by Geotextile elements, which can only sustaining axial tension but no
bending. Geosynthetics stiffness is 1000 kN/m. Interface can be placed at both sides of geosynthetics,
and this enables a full interaction between geosynthetics and sand mat. The stress-strain behavior at
soil-interface is simulated by elastic-perfectly-plastic
model. The model parameters at soil interface can be
generated from the soil using the interaction coefficient Rinter , defined as the ratio of shear strength of soil
structure interface to corresponding shear strength of
soil(Brinkgreve and Vermeer,1998).This calculation
Rinter = 0.8.
The elastic moduli of the Sand columns used CPT
data
E = 1ps

(1)

Where ps bearing of CPT.


Average value from the above CPT data,
Ps = 3.08 Mpa.
Therefore, E = 2 ps = 6.16 MPa.

3.3.1 Stiffness matching of sand column


Most embankments are modeled for plane strain conditions and sand columns are ranged triangularly. Sand
column should be computed from 3D to 2D. Area
matching was assumed because sand column have
drainage consolidation and composite foundation two
functions (XU Lin-rong and L Da-wei 2004). Sand
columns were modeled as 2-D continuous walls at the
same replacement ratio and stiffness (Fig. 6).
Triangular arranged sand columns,. Replacement
ratio of sand column
 

1 2
3 2
m = Ap /Ae = D /
l = 3D2 /(6l 2 )
4
2
= 0.0363

w 3l = m 3l 2
w = ml

3D2
3D2
w=
= 0.0725
l
=
2
6l
6l

(3)

Where m = replacement ratio, Ap = area pile, Ae =


area equivalent, D = pile diameter, l = pile spacing,
w = wall width.
3.3.2 Permeability matching
Hird, C.C. (1992) developed an equivalent plane strain
analysis considering a unit cell of the vertical drain
based on Hansbos theory.
The degree of consolidation in plane strain condition can be expressed as follows
U hp = 1



Thp
=
1

exp
8

p
u0

(4)

u the pore pressure at time t,


u0 the initial pore pressure,
Thp the time factor in plane strain,
pl the parameter including the factor of smear and
well resistance
Uhpl = Uhax
Thpl
Thax
=
pl
ax

192

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(2)

(5)
Or

Chpl t
Chax t
= 2
B2 pl
R ax

(6)

Table 1.

Mechanical parameters of soils.


Soil stratigraphy

Project

Sand
column

18.7

19

21.25

20

0.99
14
23.6

1
35

1
35

5
35

natural water content W

31.9

44.4

24.5

35.5

36.4

unit weight

kN/m3

19.2

17.8

20.3

18.7

kPa

0.89
14
15.5

1.23
3.7
18.9

21.6

0.98
3
23.2

kPa

92.9

34.3

248.7

Youngs modulus Es
Poissons ratio

MPa

9.29
0.31

Permeability

105 m/d

3.5

105 m/d

4.5

Table 2.

Horizontal
kh100200
Vertical
kv100200

0.69

3.43
0.33

24.9
0.3

12.4

9.67

5.87

5.44

34

Embankments
fill

void ratio e
Consolidated Cohesion C
quick
Friction angle 
direct shear
unconfined compression
strength qu

33

Mat

Unit

54

35

119.7

5.4
0.3

11.97
0.30

9
0.30

30
0.31

6.616
0.31

20.0

14.5

14.7

10.7

CPT data of sand piles.

Pile Number
Depth(m)

6415

6109

6111

0409

0909

1311

5716

5715

6315

5902

3.0
6.0
11.0
15.0

4.29
2.76
2.51
3.28

1.16
2.49
2.55
3.38

0.92
1.90
2.57
4.12

3.18
3.14
2.89
3.83

2.32
1.27
2.89
3.55

7.88
3.40
2.82
2.99

4.22
2.70
2.96
4.00

2.33
4.54
2.39
3.17

1.22
0.87
2.47
3.50

1.22
0.75
10.97
3.78

The permeability value in the plane strain analysis can


be changed while keeping the spacing between the
drains the same. Permeability matching when B = R.

kpl =

2kax

 
 
n
3 ln S + kkaxs ln(S) 34

(7)

For the sand columns used in this study having


diameter D = 0.4 m, spacing l = 2.0 m, the ratio S = 2,
kax /ks = 5, the calculated ratio of kpl /kax is equal to
0.164.
Figure 6. Stiffness matching.

FINITE ELELMENT RESULTS AND


COMPARISON WITH FIELD DATA

4.1 Settlement

The presentation of finite element results and the comparison with the field data are made in this section. The
data included vertical settlements, subsoil lateral displacements, excess pore pressures, and tension strain
in the reinforcements.

Statistic from settlement plate between the top of sand


column and soil has been compared with calculations
and the results are as follows.
Computed settlement curve are close to observed
curve, which shows parameters in model are accurate.

193

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Time (d)
80

0.1

Excess pore
essure(kPa)Load(kPa)

Settlement (m) Load (MPa)

0.2

0
0.1

100

200

300

400

500

0.2
0.3
0.4
Load(d)
Observed TP

Observed MP

Calculated

Load

60
40
20 0

100

200

300

40
60
FEM Calculated

10

20

30

40

Observered 2.6m

Load

Figure 9. Comparison between observed and calculated


pore pressure curves.

Lateral Displacement (mm)


0

500

20

Figure 7. Comparison between observed and calculated


settlement curves.

10

400

50

60

70
0.025

Observed
Calculated

0.020

Strain

Depth (m)

0.015
10

15

20

0.010

0.005

0.000
FEM Calculated
Left day 383 q=136kPa

20

40

60

Right day 383 q=136kPa

Figure 8. Comparison between observed and calculated


lateral displacement curves.

4.2

100

120

140

Figure 10. Load reinforcement curve.

pressure dissipation, which shows permeability


matching is reasonable.

Lateral displacement

Figure 8 shows comparison between observed lateral displacement curves with calculated curve, which
small observed lateral displacement in the left side
embankment was affected by construction shortcut.
Figure 8 shows calculated curve in the top of subsoil
are closed to the observed curve but calculated curve in
the bottom of subsoil are bigger than the two observed
curve. The first reason is that PVC inclined tube is
stiff, which can not reflect real lateral displacement,
especially in the bottom. Secondly, the inclined tube
has so small size (70 mm) and the soil is so soft that
soft soil can not work on the tube.
4.3

80

Load (kPa)

25

4.4 Reinforcement strain


Figure 10 shows FEM calculated strain-load curve
is smaller than the real curve but have the same
change law.
The above comparison reflected the accuracy of
the model and the correction of parameters, which
can reflect the performance of pile-net composite
foundation.

PERFORMANCES OF PILE-NET
COMPOSITE FOUNDATION

Pore pressure

Figure 9 shows that calculated pore pressure curve is


similar with 2.6 m depth observed curve in the center line. Pore pressure dissipates while the effective
stress increases and consolidation settlement develops.
The FEM calculation is the same as real excess pore

5.1 Influence of pile module


5.1.1 Settlement
Pile can reduce settlement of composite foundation
effectively and the settlements in the center of embankment reduced with increased pile module.

194

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

12

E=26464kPa
E=13232kPa
E=6616kPa

10

50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500


Time (d)

Observed

Load

E=4466kPa

E=6616kPa

E=13232kPa

E=26464kPa

Axial Forces(kN/m)

Settlement (m) Load (MPa)

0.15
0.1
0.05
0
0.05 0
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3

Figure 11. Influence of pile module on settlement.

Lateral displacement(mm)
10

10

30

10

12

14

16

Distance from Center of Embankment (m)


50

70

Figure 13. Influence of pile module on reinforcement axial


forces.

Settlement (m)

0.1
5

10

0
0.1

10

20

30

40

50

0.2

Depth (m)

0.3
Distance from Center of Embankment (m)
J=100kN/m
J=2000kN/m

J=500kN/m
J=10000kN/m

J=1000kN/m

15

Figure 14. Influence of reinforcement stiffness on surface


settlement.

Left day 383 q=136kPa


Right day 383 q=136kPa
20

5.2 Influence of reinforcement stiffness

E=6616kPa

5.2.1 Different settlement


Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, smaller different
settlement is, especially with high stiffness reinforcement, which shows high strength reinforcement is
useful to reduce different settlement.

E=13232kPa
E=26464kPa
25

Figure 12. Influence of pile module on lateral displacement.

5.1.2 Lateral displacement


Pile module effect lateral displacement very much.
Bigger module is, smaller lateral displacement is. Figure 12 shows pile effect on lateral displacement along
the whole pile length.
5.1.3 Reinforcement axial forces
The above figure shows pile module has different
effect on top of piles and the middle of piles. Bigger pile module is, bigger reinforcement axial forces
on the top of piles is. Oppositely, bigger pile module
is, smaller reinforcement axial forces in the middle
of piles is. Bigger pile module is, bigger Distribution
curve of axial forces waves. Smaller pile module is,
flatter Distribution curve of axial forces waves.

5.2.2 Lateral displacements


Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, bigger lateral displacement is, but the slope of the curve is reduce
slowly, which shows reinforcement stiffness can work
in certain lateral displacement and high stiffness reinforcement is effective. Reinforcement stiffness has
bigger effect on lateral displacement than settlement.
5.2.3 Reinforcement axial forces
Reinforcement stiffness is in direct ratio with reinforcement axial forces. Bigger reinforcement is, bigger
reinforcement axial forces are. At the same time, load
on the top of reinforcement can affect axial forces;
bigger load is, bigger axial forces are.
5.2.4 Pile soil stress ratio
Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, smaller pile soil
stress ratio is, which shows reinforcement in pile-net

195

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

1.45

E=13232kPa
E=6616kPa

63

1.40

62

Pile soil stress ratio

Maximum lateral displacement(mm)

64

61
60
59
58
57

1.30
1.25
1.20
1.15

56

J=10000kN/m
J=1000kN/m

1.10

55

1.05

54
0

2000

4000

6000

8000

10000

Figure 15. Influence of reinforcement on maximum lateral


displacement.
80

20

0
20

40

60

80

100

60

80

100

120

140

(2) Pile can reduce settlement of composite foundation effectively and the center settlements reduced
with increased pile module. Pile module effect lateral displacement very much. Bigger module is,
smaller lateral displacement is.
(3) Pile module has different effect on top of piles
and the middle of piles. Bigger pile module
is, bigger reinforcement axial forces on the top
of piles is. Oppositely, bigger pile module is,
smaller reinforcement axial forces in the middle
of piles is.
(4) Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, smaller different settlement is, especially with high stiffness
reinforcement, which shows high strength reinforcement is useful to reduce different settlement.
Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, bigger lateral
displacement is, but the slope of the curve is
reduce slowly, which shows reinforcement stiffness can work in certain lateral displacement
(5) Reinforcement stiffness is in direct ratio with reinforcement axial forces. Bigger reinforcement is,
bigger reinforcement axial forces are.
(6) Bigger reinforcement stiffness is, smaller pile soil
stress ratio is, which shows reinforcement in pilenet composite foundation can adjust stress on the
piles and soils.

40

40

Figure 17. Influence of reinforcement stiffness on pile soil


stress ratio.

Observed
Calculated J=1000kN/m
Calculated J=2000kN/m
Calculated J=10000kN/m

60

20

Load(kPa)

Reinforcement stiffness(kN/m)

Axial forces(kN/m)

1.35

120

140

Load (kPa)

Figure 16. Influence of reinforcement on reinforcement


axial forces.

composite foundation can adjust stress on the piles and


soils. Reinforcement can mobilize bearing capacity on
the soils, therefore pile, reinforced mat and soils work
together to bear above load.
Composite foundation can perform effectively by
the above factors. Pile spacing should be increased in
pile net composite foundation, which can reduce piles
and cut the cost of soft soil improvement in practice.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
6

CONCLUSIONS

In this paper, the structural behavior and a parametric study of a reinforced embankment on soft
soil are presented, allowing formulating the following
conclusions.
(1) In this study, FEM calculated results are close to
observed results, which prove the accuracy of the
model and the correction of parameters.

With deep appreciation and gratitude, the authors wish


to sincerely acknowledge Professor XU Lin-rong for
his instructions in the past. We also acknowledge
experts and technical personnel from the Fourth Survey and Design Institute of China Railway, China
Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group CO.LTD, Tongji University and Southwest Jiaotong University. They provided precious advice and assistance in field tests and
observations.

196

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

REFERENCES
Allen Lunzhu Li. 2000. Time dependent behavior of reinforced embankments on soft foundations. Ph.D. Thesis.
University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.
Bergado D.T., Long P.V. and Murthy B.R.S. 2002. A
case study of geotextile-reinforced embankment on
soft ground. Geotextiles and Geomembranes, Vol. 20,
pp. 343365.
Brinkgreve R B J, Vermeer P A. 1998. Plaxis-Finite Element
Code for Soil and Rock Analyses. Netherlands: Material
Models Manual.
British Standard BS 8006, 1995. Code of Practice for
Strengthened/Reinforced Soil and other Fills.
Bruce, D.A. 2001. An Introduction to the Deep Mixing
Methods as Used in Geotechnical Applications Volume
III: The Verification and Properties of Treated Ground.
FHWA-RD-99-167, pp. 405455.
Gong Xiao-nan. 2002. The Theory and Application of
Composite Foundation. Beijing: China Architecture &
Building Press.
Hird C.C., Pyrah I.C. and Russell D. 1992. Finite element
modelling of wick drains beneath the embankments on
soft ground. Gotechnique, Vol.42, pp. 499511.
Jie, Han, M. A. Gabr. 2002. Numerical Analysis of
Geosynthetic-Reinforced and Pile-Supported Earth Platforms over Soft Soil. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol.128, pp. 4453.
Lin, K.Q. and Wong, I.H. 1999. Use of deep cement mixing to reduce settlements at bridge approaches. Journal of

Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE,


Vol.125, pp. 309320.
Rao Weiguo, Zhao Chenggang. 2002. The Behavior of
Pile-net Composite Foundation. China Civil Engineering
Journal, Vol.35, pp. 7480.
Porbaha, A., Shibuya, S., and Kishida, T. 2000. State of
the art in deep mixing technology: part III. Geomaterial Characterization. Ground Improvement, Vol.3, pp.
91110.
Reid, W M, Buchanan, N W. 1984. Bridge approach support piling. Piling and ground treatment. London: Thomas
Telford Ltd. pp. 267274.
Terzaghi K. 1943.Theoretical soil mechanics, NewYork: John
Wiley & Sons.
The fourth survey and design institute of china railway. 2003.
China National Railway Ministry (The Design Parameters
for Railway and Bridge on Soft Ground Project), Kunshan
trial site soft soil engineering properties research report.
Wuhan.
Yan Li. Yang, J.S., Han, Jie. 2002. Geosynthetic-reinforced
and pile-supported earth platform composite foundation. Yantu Lixue/Rock and Soil Mechanics, Vol. 26,
pp. 821826
Xu Lin-rong, Niu Jian-dong. L Da-wei. 2004. Settlement
estimate method and reinforcement effect memoir of the
sand pile reinforcement soft soil project of China Ministry
of Railways. Changsha: Central South University.

197

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Study on the influence of pile foundation due to excavation


Yunjun Zhang, Jinmin Zai & Kejun Qi
Geotechnical Engineering Institute, Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, China

ABSTRACT: Based on the tunnel excavation engineering practice in Nanjing, finite element method is selected
to analysis the influence of building pile foundation induced by adjacent tunnel excavation according to the
different depths. The settlement of soil and building is studied. The bending moment, axial force, shear force and
displacement of the pile and subfloor are also analyzed. Then it draws some significant conclusions to practical
engineering.

INSTRUCTION

Nowadays many geotechnical subjects emerged with


the exploitation of urban underground space. There
are also lots of new problems in the tunnel construction. There is a subway project in Nanjing. There are
many buildings near the subway line, whose structural styles are brick or frame and whose foundation
styles are mostly pile foundations. It is the researching
emphasis in this paper about how to study the influence
of pile foundation induced by adjacent tunnel excavation. Based on the tunnel excavation engineering
practice in Nanjing, finite element method is selected
to analysis the influence of building pile foundation
induced by adjacent tunnel excavation according to
the different depths. The settlement of soil and building is studied. The bending moment, axial force, shear
force and displacement of the pile and subfloor are also
analyzed.

PHYSICAL DIMENSION AND PARAMETERS


OF NUMERICAL SIMULATION

The finite element software of Plaxis8.0, developed


by Delft Technical University, is selected in this paper.
This software is an finite element software package
which is special applied to deformation and stability
two-dimension analysis. Because it is convenient to
Table 1.

model building and has strong functions, It has been


applied to basic analysis as to pit excavation, tunnel
excavation and so on.
Supposing tunnel excavation is a plain stress problem, so two dimension model is built. The rectangle
district (60 m 80 m) is selected as soil strata physical zone in which soil body is even clay blanket.
The parameters are listed in Table 1. The diameter of
the tunnel is 4 m, the distance next to the building is
5 m and the tunnel depth is 530 m. This building is
a four-layers-and-two-spans frame construction. The
span length is 10 m and the layer altitude is 3 m. The
upper load of the building focuses on the floor and
the upright column and it is set as 20 KN/m. There are
three piles. Every piles length is 15 m and its diameter
is 1 m. The volume loss prescribed in all analyses is
approximately 2%.
Mohr-coulomb model is used in soil. Elastic model
are used in structure, pile and lining. Related parameters are listed in Table 1 and Table 2. The meshes are
divided into 1273 elements. When calculation, firstly
set the settlement produced by building to zero, then
calculate the stress and settlement produced by tunnel
excavation.
Fig. 1 shows the model of FEM. There are three
piles in the model and two observation points (A,B) of
settlement. Point A is upper the tunnel and Point B is
the building corner, shown in Fig. 1.
Table 3 shows the numbering and feature of numerical simulation.

Soil parameters.
dry
kN/m3

wet
kN/m3

kx
m/day

ky
m/day

Eref
kN/m2

cref
kN/m2

Parameters
Clay

17

19

106

106

20000

0.33

8.0

26

199

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

3.1

Settlement of Point A and B after tunnel


excavation

Fig. 2 shows that the settlement of Point A decreases


with the depth of tunnel when there is no adjacent foundation. When the tunnel depth is in the extent of 15 m.,
the rate of settlement decrement is great, the most settlement is the vertical settlement and the horizontal
settlement is almost zero. Fig. 3 shows that when there
is adjacent foundation, the most settlement is also the
vertical settlement, but when in the depth of 10 m, there
is apparent horizontal displacement.
Table 2.

Structure parameters.

Material EA
Parameters type
kN/m
Structure
Pile
Tunnel

Fig. 4 shows the settlement of Point A. When there


is adjacent foundation, the settlement is smaller than
that of no adjacent if the tunnel depth is in the extent
of pile length (15 m). If the tunnel depth is out of the
extent of pile length (15 m), the settlement of point A
(there is adjacent foundation) is greater than that of
no adjacent foundation. The detailed data is listed in
Table 4.
It can be analysed that if the tunnel depth is in the
extent of pile length, the settlement is smaller because
of the retaining effect of pile and if the tunnel depth is
Depth of tunnel excavation(m)

3 ANALYSIS OF MODELLING RESULTS

EI
kNm2 /m

d
m

1.41 107 1.43 105 0.35 0.15


2.0 106 1.7 105 1.00 0.15
1.41 107 1.43 105 0.35 0.15

elastic
elastic
elastic

5
10
Total displacement
X-displacement
Y-displacement

15
20
25
30
0

10

15

20

25

Displacement of Point A(mm)

Depth of tunnel excavation(m)

Figure 2. Settlement variation of point A with excavation


depth excavation depth (without adjacent foundation).

5
10
Total displacement
X-displacement
Y-displacement

15
20
25
30
0

10

15

20

Displacement of Point A(mm)


Figure 3. Settlement variation of pointA with (with adjacent
foundation).

Figure 1. Model of FEM.


Table 3.

Numbering and feature of numerical simulation.

Numbering

Depth of tunnel
excavation (m)

Diameter of
tunnel (m)

structure

Distance to
building (m)

Type of foundation

TEST1
TEST2
TEST3
TEST4
TEST5
TEST6
TEST7

5
10
15
20
25
30
530

4
4
4
4
4
4
4

exist
exist
exist
exist
exist
exist
no

5
5
5
5
5
5

Pile foundation
Pile foundation
Pile foundation
Pile foundation
Pile foundation
Pile foundation

200

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

out of the extent of pile length, the settlement is greater


because of the stress diffusion from pile tip.
When there is adjacent foundation, the settlement
of Point B is decreasing with the depth of excavation
and the rate of decreasing is even. The horizontal displacement of Point B is also decreasing with the depth
of excavation, but it is apparent in the extent of pile

length (15 m). The vertical displacement of Point B is


increasing with the depth of excavation when the tunnel depth is in the extent of pile length (15 m), but
the vertical displacement of Point B is decreasing with
the depth of excavation when the tunnel depth is out
of the extent of pile length (>15 m). The detailed data
is listed in Table 5.

Depth of tunnel excavation(m)

3.2 Flexural moment variation of pile and subfloor


after tunnel excavation

5
10

Fig. 69 show that if the value of moment is less than


zero, it means that the flexural moment reduces, otherwise it means that the flexural moment increases.
Fig. 6 shows that if the tunnel depth is in the extent of
pile length (15 m), the moment of Pile A reduces above
the tunnel depth and the moment of pile A increases
below the tunnel depth. If the tunnel depth is out of
the extent of pile length (15 m), the moment of Pile A
almost increases, but recruitment is very small.
Fig. 7 shows that the flexural moment of Pile B
changes apparently when the tunnel depth is about 5
meters. While Fig. 8 shows that the flexural moment of
Pile C changes differently comparing with that of Pile
B. When the tunnel depth is about 10m, the moment
of Pile C reduces on the upper part of pile and the
change-zero of moment shifts up apparently.
Fig. 9 shows that the flexural moment of subfloor
changes antisymmetrically. The antisymmetric midpoint is the center of subfloor. The antisymmetric form
transits from left-high-and-right-low to left-low-andright-high by the tunnel depth of 10 m.

15
20

Settlement of Point A(without adjacent foundation)


Settlement of Point A(without adjacent foundation)

25
30
0

10

15

20

25

Total displacement of piont A(mm)

Depth of tunnel excavation(m)

Figure 4. Settlement variation comparison of point A


excavation depth.
5
10
15
Total displacement
X-displacement
Y-displacement

20
25
30
0

3.3 Axial force variation of pile and subfloor after


tunnel excavation

Displacement of Point B(mm)

Fig. 10 shows that if the tunnel depth is in the


extent of pile length (15 m), the axial force of Pile A
changes apparently and almost reduces, the position of

Figure 5. Settlement variation of point B with (with adjacent


foundation).
Table 4.

Settlement variation of point A.

Depth of tunnel excavation (m)

10

15

20

25

30

Total displacement (mm)


(without adjacent foundation)
Total displacement (mm)
(with adjacent foundation)

23.000

9.110

4.936

3.190

2.500

2.319

20.000

7.813

4.409

3.343

2.643

2.396

Table 5.

Settlement variation of point B.

Depth of tunnel excavation (m)

10

15

20

25

30

Total displacement (mm)


X-displacement (mm)
Y-displacement (mm)

6.42
5.939
2.438

5.202
3.325
4.001

4.638
1.991
4.189

3.986
1.314
3.763

3.058
0.8767
2.929

2.622
0.6163
2.548

201

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Depth of Pile A(m)

60
58
56

Moment variation of subfloor(kN.m/m)

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

62

54
52
50
48
46
44
-60

-40

-20

20

40

60

Moment variation of Pile A(kN.m/m)

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

25
20
15
10
5
0
-5
-10
-15
-20

40

45

62

56
54

62

52

60

50

Depth of Pile A(m)

Depth of Pile B(m)

58

55

60

Figure 9. Moment variation of subfloor with excavation


depth.

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

60

50

Site of subfloor(m)

Figure 6. Moment variation of pile A with excavation depth.

48
46
44
-60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Moment variation of Pile B(kN.m/m)

58

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

56
54
52
50
48
46

Figure 7. Moment variation of pile B with excavation depth.

44

60
58
56

62

52

60

50
48
46
44
10 20 30 40 50 60

Moment variation of Pile C(kN.m/m)


Figure 8. Moment variation of pile C with excavation depth.

-40

-20

20

58
56

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

54
52
50
48
46
44
-140 -120 -100 -80

maximal variation is about in the depth of excavation.


When the tunnel depth is out of the extent of pile length
(15 m), the axial force of Pile A doesnt changes apparently and almostly increases, the increment reduces
with the tunnel depth.
Fig. 11 shows that the axial force of Pile B doesnt
changes apparently and almostly reduces, the position
of maximal variation is about in the depth of 10 m
to 15 m. Fig. 12 shows that the axial force of Pile B

-60

-40

-20

20

Axial force variation of Pile B(kN/m)


Figure 11. Axial force variation of pile B with depth.

doesnt changes apparently and almostly increases, but


the increment is very small.
Fig. 13 shows that the axial force of subfloor also
changes antisymmetrically. The antisymmetric midpoint is the center of subfloor. The antisymmetric form

202

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

-60

Figure 10. Axial force variation of pile A with depth.

54

-60 -50 -40 -30 -20 -10 0

-80

Axial force variation of Pile A(kN/m)

Depth of Pile B(m)

Depth of Pile C(m)

-140 -120 -100

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

62

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

Depth of Pile C(m)

60
58

60

56
54
52
50
48
46
44
-140 -120 -100 -80

-60

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

62

Depth of Pile A(m)

62

-40

-20

58
56
54
52
50
48
46
44

20

-100

Axial force variation of Pile C(kN/m)

-80

-60

-40

-20

20

40

Shear force variation of Pile A(kN/m)


Figure 12. Axial force variation of pile C with depth.

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
-10

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

62

Depth of Pile B(m)

Axial force variation of subfloor(kN/m)

Figure 14. Shear force variation of pile A with depth.

60
58
56
54
52
50
48
46
44

40

45

50

55

60

-10

Site of subfloor(m)

-80

-60

-40

-20

20

40

Shear force variation of Pile B(kN/m)

Figure 13. Axial force variation of subfloor with depth.

Figure 15. Shear force variation of pile B with depth.

transits from left-high-and-right-low to left-low-andright-high by the tunnel depth of 10 m. When the tunnel
depth is in the extent of pile length (15 m), the axial
force changes greatly. When the tunnel depth is out
of the extent of pile length (15 m), the axial force of
subfloor doesnt changes greatly, the moment on the
left of symmetry reduces little and the moment on the
right of symmetry increases little.

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

62

Depth of Pile C(m)

60
58
56
54
52
50
48
46

3.4

Shear force variation of pile and subfloor after


tunnel excavation

44
-100

Fig. 14 shows that if the tunnel depth is in the extent


of pile length (15 m), the shear force of Pile A changes
apparently. When the tunnel depth is about 5 m, the
shear force of the pile top reduces most and the value
of reduced is 83.8 kN/m.
Fig. 15 shows that when the tunnel depth is about
5 m, the shear force of Pile B increases greatly. Fig. 16
shows that when the tunnel depth is in the extent of
pile length (15 m), the shear force of Pile C increases
greatly above 10 m, when the tunnel depth is out of the
extent of pile length (15 m), the change of the shear
force of Pile C is very small.

-60

-40

-20

20

40

Figure 16. Shear force variation of pile C with depth.

As shown in Fig. 17, the change form of the shear


force of subfloor is antisymmetric. The antisymmetric
mid-point is the center of subfloor. The antisymmetric
form transits from left-high-and-right-low to left-lowand-right-high by the tunnel depth of 7.5 m. When the
tunnel depth is in the extent of pile length (15m), the
shear force of subfloor changes apparently.

203

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

-80

Shear force variation of Pile C(kN/m)

Shear force variation of subfloor(kN/m)

the vertical displacement of Point B is decreasing with the depth of excavation when the tunnel
depth is out of the extent of pile length.
(3) Tunnel excavation imports more influence on Pile
A than on Pile B and Pile C. When the tunnel
depth is in the extent of pile length, the flexural
moment, axial force and shear force of pile and
subfloor changes apparently. While when the tunnel depth is out of the extent of pile length, the
flexural moment, axial force and shear force of
pile and subfloor changes little. Accordingly, the
depth of pile length is a typical dividing boundary. So if the tunnel depth is in the extent of pile
length, it is necessary to protect the adjacent pile
foundation.
(4) The change form of the moment, axial force and
shear force of subfloor are antisymmetric and the
forms change with the depth of tunnel excavation
depth.

tunnel depth-5m
tunnel depth-10m
tunnel depth-15m
tunnel depth-20m
tunnel depth-25m
tunnel depth-30m

6
4
2
0
-2
-4
-6
-8
-10

40

45

50

55

60

Site of subfloor(m)

Figure 17. Shear force variation of subfloor with depth.

CONCLUSION

(1) When there is adjacent foundation, the settlement


of ground surface is smaller than that of no adjacent if the tunnel depth is in the extent of pile
length. If the tunnel depth is out of the extent of
pile length, the settlement of ground surface (there
is adjacent foundation) is greater than that of no
adjacent foundation.
(2) When there is adjacent foundation, the settlement
of Point B(the corner point of building) is decreasing with the depth of excavation and the rate of
decreasing is even. The horizontal displacement
of Point B is also decreasing with the depth of
excavation, but it is apparent in the extent of pile
length. The vertical displacement of Point B is
increasing with the depth of excavation when the
tunnel depth is in the extent of pile length, but

REFERENCES
1. Chew, S. H., Yong, K. Y., and Lim, A. Y. K. (1997).
Three-dimensional finite element analysis of astrutted
excavation, Procc. 9th Int. Conf. on Computer Methods
and Advances in Geomechanics, Wuhan, China.
2. F.C. Schroeder, D.M. Potts and T.I. Addenbrooke (1994).
The influence of pile group loading on existing tunnels.
Geotechnique 54, No. 6, 351362
3. Liu K.X., Yong K.Y., Lee F.H (1996). A numerical study
on 3-D behavior of excavation-support system, Proc. 2nd
Int. Conf. on Soft Soil Engineering, Nanjing: 137145
4. H.G. Poulos, L.T. Chen (1996). Pile Response Due to
unsupported Excavation-Induced Lateral Soil Movement
[J]. Can. Geotech., 33: 670677.
5. Ou C.Y., Hsieh P.G., Chiou D.C (1993). Characteristics
of ground surface settlement during excavation [J]. Can.
Geotech. J., Ottawa, Canada, 30: 758767.

204

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Study on long-term settlement behavior of driven pile foundation


in soft soil
Hong-Bo Zhou
Shanghai Jianke project management Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China

Zhu-Chang Chen
Department of geotechnical engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Nan-Fu Hong
Department of city and county planning, QuanZhou, Fujian, China

ABSTRACT: Based on the comparison of settlement measurement data of high-rise buildings supported by
driven pile foundation, the effects of composition of compressible strata underlying pile tip and soil situation
surrounding pile on long-term settlement behavior of driven pile foundation are studied. The results show:
that the effects of existence of thick sand layers surrounding pile on settlement behaviors of pile foundation are
significantly dependent on the condition of compressible strata; when compressible strata are mainly composed of
quasi-sand layers (i.e. quasi-sand ratio > 75%), the function of existence of thick sand layer will lead to decrease
pile foundation settlements and improve settlement behaviors remarkably; when quasi-sand ratio is less than
50%,the function of that is disappeared. Therefore, it is a concept with widespeed significance that compositions
of compressible strata always play a leading role for basic characteristics of pile foundation settlement.

INTRODUCTION

The effects of condition of soil layers and construction factor on settlement of pile group of building
are difficult to be precisely simulated and calculated
(Prakoso et al. 2001, castelli et al. 2002). The investigation into the properties and regulations of pile group
settlement need to be combined in plenty of prototype
measured settlement data. Shanghai is typical soft soil
region, driven pile groups are widely used to support
high-rise buildings. Nowadays, the settlement control
is getting more and more strict in the city. To research
the long-term settlement behaviour is more important
according to the existing buildings supported by driven
pile group.
Considering the action of pile driving, people begin
to concern the influence of type of ground on settlement of driven pile group, as well as the influence of
the properties of soil deposits surrounding pile on settlement of driven pile group (Zhang et al. 1999, Dai
et al. 2000).
During the process of working out the calculated methods of pile group settlement of shanghai
standardFoundation Design Code (DBJ08-11-89), 28
prototype observations of buildings supported on pile
foundation were used to judge the applicability of the

calculated methods of pile group settlement. Based


on the comparison between observed and calculated
results it would be showed that for pile group in B
type of ground in which sand deposits were located
in shallow depths, the calculated settlement were significantly larger than the observed results. Since then,
engineer and technicians in shanghai have held a more
popular point of view that the existence of shallow
sand deposits surrounding pile will lead to decrease the
pile group settlement significantly. However, this point
of view seems neglect in determination of the condition in which only sand deposits surrounding pile are
concerned, and also neglect other conditions besides
soil situation surrounding pile. Meanwhile, many
instances which demonstrate that the existence of thick
sand layers surrounding pile will significantly reduces
the pile group settlement can be found, but sometimes
opposite instances also can be found. For example, in
one project, the ratio of the thickness of sand layers
around pile shaft to the pile length even reaches 100%
and the value of cone penetration resistance Ps for
sand layers is in the range of 4.15 MPa4.4 MPa, but
the pile group settlement behavior possesses the following characteristics, i.e. large settlement (119 mm),
low level of completion settlement ratio (18.1%), large
settlement after completion (97.5 mm) and long time

205

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

for settlement stabilization (7.7years) (Zhou 2004).


These characteristics have outstanding discrepancy in
comparison with those of settlement for pile group
in which compressible strata are mainly composed of
sand layers and the thick sand layers are located in
shallow depths.
As can be seen from mention previously, the effects
of the existence of thick sand layers around pile on
settlement behavior of driven pile group are closely
related to the condition of compressible strata underlying the pile tip. Various evidences show that it is
not completely rational that to discuss the effects of
the existence of thick sand layers around pile on settlement of characteristics of group is separate from
the condition of compressible strata. In fact there
arent independent relations between thick sand layers around pile and the behavior of driven pile group
settlement. Therefore it is more rational that the thick
sand layers in shallow depths surrounding pile are in
conjunction with the condition of compressible strata
to analyze their effect on driven pile group settlement
and its behavior.
25 long-term settlement measurement data of highrise building supported on driven pile group are collected and used to discuss the long-term effect of the
composition of compressible strata and soil condition
around pile on the behavior of pile group settlement in
the paper, especially to discuss the effect of the existence of thick sand layers around pile on the behaviour
of pile group settlement.
2

EXPRESSION THE COMPOSITION OF


COMPRESSIBLE STRATA

In order to properly indicate the effect of compressible strata under pile tip on the settlement behavior
for driven pile group, the composition of compressible strata is used as index to reflect the property of
compressibility of compressible strata in the paper.
In the composition of compressible strata, the proportion of plastic clay soil layer to the compressible
strata is expressed as an independent index, because
the plastic state of clay soil behaves the characteristics
of high compressibility and slow deformation speed,
and has quite a different effect on pile group settlement behavior from sand or firm-plastic clay soil in
shanghai region.
In order to further analyze that the influence of existence of thick sand layer surrounding pile on settlement
behavior for driven pile group is related to the composition of compressible strata, the soil layers which
usually appear as compressible strata of pile group in
shanghai region are divided into the following three
classes in the paper (Gao 1992).
(1) Sand soil including fine sand, silty sand, sandy silt,
clayey silt, and clay soil (which is composed of

clay sublayer and sand sublayer where the ratio of


thickness for the latter to thickness for the former
should be larger than 1/10).
(2) Firm-plastic clay soil including sixth layer and
sometime ninth layer (according to the denomination of foundation design code of shanghai).
(3) Plastic clay soil.
The above described classification of soil type for
compressible strata has been chosen, it is mainly considered that the permeability and consolidation ratio
for various soil types under superstructure static loading or vibration load of pile driving have greatly
difference, then we can investigate the dependence of
the composition of compressible strata and the existence of sand deposits surrounding pile on the driven
pile group settlement behavior. Here clay soil which
has relatively large thickness of sand sublayer in comparison with ordinary clay soil can be classified into
the type of sand soil. In general, to clay soil, when it
has much larger thickness of sand sublayer in comparison with ordinary clay soil, so it has much higher
permeability and drainability, in the circumstance this
specific clay soil is classified into plastic clay soil
rather than into sand soil. Besides, firm-plastic clay
soil need to be distinguished from plastic clay soil,
because deformation rate for the former is more fast
than that for the latter. It should be explained that the
following analysis and comparison are confined to the
building with 18 storeys and to the pile length at a
range of 20 m35 m.
The following indices are used to indicate the
compressible strata in the paper.
The sand ratio of compressible strata, 1 (%), is
given by
1 = thickness of sand layer/thickness of
compressible strata

The firm-plastic clay ratio of compressible strata,


2 (%), is given by
2 = thickness of firm-plastic clay layer/
thickness of compressible strata

(2)

The plastic clay ratio of compressible soil layer, 3 (%),


is given by
3 = thickness of plastic clay layer/
thickness of compressible strata

(3)

The quasi-sand ratio of compressible strata, (%),is


given by
= 1 + 2

(4)

The relation between and 3 is expressed as


+ 3 100%

(5)

The thickness of compressible strata underlying pile


tip is taken as 0.5Be, Be is the equivalent effective
width of pile group (Chen et al. 2003).

206

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

(1)

207

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Sand Thick 20.95 m


50.2
3.5
88.3
44.3
Average

582

41.8
No.10

608

85.3

3.8

49.0

33.8

78.8

45.0

21.2

Sand Thick 8.8 m


0
34.6
100
65.4
51.3
3.2
91.2
46.8
No.4

556

Plastic clay
ratio 3 (%)
Quasi-sand ratio(%)
Sand ratio
Firm-plastic clay
1 (%)
ratio 2 (%)
Settlement at
stabilization
(mm)
Time for
settlement
stabilization (year)
Completion
settlement
ratio (%)
Time of
completion
(day)
Settlement
at completion
time (mm)
No. of
project

According to the measured data of driven pile group


settlement and the geological data, the condition of soil
layer surrounding pile are divided into two situations,
one is the existence of thick sand layer and the other
is soft clay and clay layers. Based on the value of of
the compressible strata are divided into two situations,
one is for the value of larger than 75%, the other is
for the value of less than 50%. From above described
classifications, No. 1No. 4 combination of the measured results of driven pile group settlement behavior
are given, as shown in Table 1Table 4.
Table 1 shows the measured results of driven pile
group settlement behavior for No.1 combination where
> 75% is in combination with the existence of thick
sand layer surrounding pile. As can be seen from the
table 1, the settlement at the time of completion is
41.8 mm46.8 mm, the average 44.3 mm; the completion settlement ratio is 85.3%91.2%, the average
88.3%; the time for settlement stabilization is 3.2
years3.8 years, the average 3.5 years; the settlement at stabilization is 49 mm51.3 mm, the average
50.2 mm.
Table 2 shows the measured results of driven pile
group settlement behavior for No.2 combination where
> 75% is in combination with the existence of
soft clay and clay around the pile. As can be seen
from the table 2, the settlement at the time of completion is 37.3 mm71.8 mm, the average 54.0 mm;
the completion settlement ratio is 62.1%86.9%, the
average 74.6%; the time for settlement stabilization
is 2.54 years5.58 years, the average 4.2 years; the
settlement at stabilization is 48.3 mm82.6 mm, the
average 72.6 mm.
Table 3 shows the measured results of driven pile
group settlement behavior for No.3 combination where
3 > 50% is in combination with the existence of
sand layer surrounding pile. As can be seen from the
table 3, the settlement at the time of completion is
32.8 mm40.7 mm, the average 36.7 mm; the completion settlement ratio is 32.5%36.8%, the average
34.7%; the time for settlement stabilization is 8.2
years8.3 years, the average 8.3 years; the settlement
at stabilization is 101 mm110.7 mm, the average
105.9 mm.
Table 4 shows the measured results of driven pile
group settlement behavior for No. 4 combination
where 3 > 50% is in combination with the existence
of soft clay and clay around the pile. As can be seen
from the table 4, the settlement at the time of completion is 29.2 mm67.3 mm, the average 51.3 mm;

Composition of compressible strata

Condition of
soil layers
surrounding pile

MEASUREMENT SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOR


OF PILE GROUP IN DIFFERENT
COMBINATION OF COMPOSITION OF
COMPRESSIBLE STRATA WITH THE
CONDITION OF SOIL LAYERS
SURROUNDING PILE

Table 1. Pile group settlement behavior under No. 1 combination.

Table 2. Pile group settlement behavior under No. 2 combination.


Composition of compressible strata
No. of
project

Settlement
at completion
time (mm)

Time of
completion
(day)

Completion
settlement
ratio (%)

Time for
settlement
stabilization (year)

Settlement at
stabilization
(mm)

No.3

71.8

556

86.9

2.54

82.6

Quasi-sand ratio(%)
Sand ratio
Firm-plastic clay
1 (%)
ratio 2 (%)
100
83.6

No.9(1)

56.6

773

72.1

4.75

78.5

50.2

631

62.1

5.58

100

80.8

37.3

584

77.2

4.1

100

48.3

54.0

636

74.6

4.2

Sand Thick 0 m

Sand Thick 0 m

Sand Thick 2.63 m

0
75.3

61
Average

0
9.6

100
No. 19

Condition of
soil layers
surrounding pile

16.4

90.4
No.9(2)

Plastic clay
ratio 3 (%)

25.4

Sand Thick 0 m

14.3

72.6

208
Table 3. Pile group settlement behavior under No. 3 combination.
Composition of compressible strata
No. of
project

Settlement
at completion
time (mm)

Time of
completion
(day)

Completion
settlement
ratio (%)

Time for
settlement
stabilization (year)

Settlement at
stabilization
(mm)

No. 18

32.8

333

<32.5

>8.2

>101

Quasi-sand ratio(%)
Sand ratio
Firm-plastic clay
1 (%)
ratio 2 (%)
35.5
35.0

No. 11

40.7

553

36.8

8.3

110.7

Average

36.7

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

443

<34.7

>8.3

>105.9

Condition of
soil layers
surrounding pile

64.5

Sand Thick 13.7 m

85.9

Sand Thick 6 m

0
14.1

14.1

Plastic clay
ratio 3 (%)

Sand Thick 3 m

Sand Thick 3.8 m

7.7

58.3
<42.9

>7.4

>117.5

34
126
7.5
45.1
56.8

51.3

No 17

Average

333

29.9
No 16

384

18.7

67.3
No.6

335

29.2

8.1

102.2

18.3

41.7

0.4

81.2

Sand Thick 0 m
58.8
0
41.2
41.2
>124.2
>6.7
<54.2

Settlement
at completion
time (mm)

484

Condition of
soil layers
surrounding pile
Plastic clay
ratio 3 (%)
Quasi-sand ratio(%)
Sand ratio
Firm-plastic clay
1 (%)
ratio 2 (%)

4 THE EFFECT OF SOIL CONDITION


AROUND PILE ON THE PILE GROUP
SETTLEMNT BEHAVIOR AT > 75%

No. of
project

Time of
completion
(day)

Completion
settlement
ratio (%)

Time for
settlement
stabilization (year)

Settlement at
stabilization
(mm)

Composition of compressible strata


Table 4. Pile group settlement behavior under No.4 combination.

the completion settlement ratio is 29.2%54.2%, the


average 42.9%; the time for settlement stabilization
is 6.7 years8.1 years, the average 7.4 years; the
settlement at stabilization is 102.2 mm126 mm, the
average 117.5 mm.

A comparison of pile group settlement behavior


between No.1 combination and No.2 combination is
given in Table 5. As can be seen from table 5, both
combination possess the same condition of the compressible strata that are mainly composed of quasi-sand
layer (in other words > 75% or 3 <25%). Based on
this condition, the different of type of the soil situations around pile,i.e. the existence of thick sand layer
as well as soft clay and clay layers, on the pile group
settlement behaviour can be judged.
From the table 5 it can be seen that in comparison
with soft clay and clay layers around pile, the existence of thick sand layer around pile will decrease
the pile group settlement by 30.9%, the stabilization
time by 16.7%, the settlement after completion by
68.3% and will increase the completion settlement
ratio by 18.4%; it illustrates the thick sand layer around
pile is beneficial to decreasing pile group settlement,
time for settlement stabilization and settlement after
completion and to increasing completion settlement
ratio. However, in the condition that the compressible strata are mainly composed of quasi-sand layer,
whether thick sand layers or soft clay and clay layers
surrounding pile, the pile group settlement behavior still demonstrates basically close characteristics,
namely on the whole possess high level of completion settlement ratio (88.3% and 74.6%), short time
for settlement stabilization (3.5 years and 4.2 years),
low settlement at stabilization (50.2 mm and 72.6 mm)
and low settlement after completion (5.9 mm and
18.6 mm). From the pile group settlement behavior in
two different situations of soil layer around pile showing the almost close characteristics, it reveals that the
composition of compressible strata play a leading role
for pile group settlement behavior, namely the close
characteristics, as described above, of pile group settlement are considered to be a reflection of inherent
deformation performance for compressible strata with
high quasi-sand ratio. On the other hand, the existence
of thick sand layer surrounding pile can play further
role for decreasing the stabilization time, the settlement of observed stabilization and the settlement after
completion as well as for increasing completion settlement ratio, it is tightly related to the basic condition of
compressible strata with high quasi-sand ratio,i.e. it is
conditioned that the existence of thick sand layer can

209

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 5.

Comparison of pile group settlement behavior between No.1 combination and No.2 combination.

contrast type
Combination 1

Thick sand layers


surrounding pile
> 75%
Combination 2
Soft clay and clay
layers surrounding
pile > 75%
Combination 1/Combination 2(%)

Average of
settlement
at completion
time (mm)

Average of
time of
completion
(day)

44.3

582

88.3

3.5

50.2

54.0

636

74.6

4.2

72.6

118.4

83.3

69.1

82.0

91.5

play previously described role. Therefore, the point


of view, that the existence of shallow sand deposits
surrounding pile can cause significantly decreasing of
settlement, is not comprehensive and may not clarify
the necessary condition of compressible strata.
From previously described comparison, the following analysis can be obtained.
(1) In the condition that the compressible strata are
mainly composed of quasi-sand layer, whether
thick sand layers or soft clay and clay layers surrounding pile, the pile group settlement behavior
still shows basically close characteristic, namely
on the whole possess high level of completion
settlement ratio, short time for settlement stabilization, low settlement at stabilization and low
settlement after completion.
(2) In the condition that the compressible strata are
mainly composed of quasi-sand layer, in comparison with soft clay and clay layers surrounding
pile, the existence of thick sand layers is beneficial
to decreasing the settlement at stabilization, the
time for settlement stabilization and the settlement
after completion and to increasing the completion
settlement ratio.
(3) Engineer and technicians in shanghai have held
a more popular understanding that the existence
of shallow sand deposits surrounding pile will
lead to decrease the pile group settlement significantly. The analysis in the paper indicate the
understanding is rational only on the condition that
the compressible strata mainly consist of quasisand layer. When the condition of compressible
strata is different from it, the understanding may
not reasonable.
5 THE EFFECT OF SOIL CONDITION
AROUND PILE ON THE PILE GROUP
SETTLEMENT BEHAVIOR AT 3 >
A comparison of pile group settlement behavior
between No.3 combination and No.4 combination is
given in Table 6 . As can be seen from the table 6, both

Average of time
for settlement
stabilization (year)

Average of
settlement
stabilization
(mm)

combination possess the same condition of the compressible strata with 3 > 50% (i.e.3 > ), in which
the behavior of pile group settlement for two different type of soil condition (i.e. the existence of thick
sand layer as well as the soft clay and clay layers)
surrounding pile also shows almost close characteristics, namely on the whole possesses low level of
completion settlement ratio (<34.7%and 42.9%, long
time for settlement stabilization (>8.3 years and >7.4
years), large settlement at stabilization (>105 mm and
>117.5 mm) and large settlement after completion
(>69.2 mm and >66.2 mm). However, in the same
condition of soil layer surrounding pile, when the
composition of compressible strata are from > 75%
to < 50% (i.e. 3 > ), it will cause outstanding discrepancy in the behavior of pile group settlement, i.e.
completion settlement ratio is from high to low (from
88.3% and 74.6% to <34.7% and 42.9%), the time
for settlement stabilization is from short to long (from
3.5 years and 4.2 years to >8.3 years and >7.4 years),
settlement at stabilization is from low to high (from
50.2 mm and 72.6 mm to >69.2 mm and >66.2 mm).
The analysis and data described above give a further
proof that the composition of compressible strata play
a leading role for the behavior of pile group settlement, and that the compressible strata with higher
plastic clay ratio is closely related to the characteristics of pile group settlement, such as low level of
completion settlement ratio, long time for settlement
stabilization, high observed settlement at stabilization
and high settlement after completion.
From table 6 it can also be seen that in the condition
of compressible strata with 3 > 50%, in comparison
with the soft clay and clay layers surrounding pile, the
existence of thick sand layers surrounding pile are to
decrease pile group settlement by 9.9% and the completion settlement ratio by 19.1%, and to increases the
time for settlement stabilization by 12.2% and settlement after completion by 4.5%. These data indicate
that, for 3 > 50% the existence of thick sand layer surrounding pile may not always lead the behavior of pile
group settlement to the tendency for improvement. It
should be of note that in the condition of compressible

210

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Average of
completion
settlement
ratio (%)

Table 6.

Comparison of pile group settlement behavior between No. 3 combination and No. 4 combination.

contrast type
Combination 3

Thick sand layers


surrounding pile
3 > 50%
Combination 4 Soft clay and clay
layers surrounding pile
3 > 50%
combination 3/combination 4(%)

Average of
settlement
at completion
time (mm)

Average
of time of
completion
(day)

Average of
completion
settlement
ratio (%)

Average of time
for settlement
stabilization
(year)

Average of
settlement
stabilization
(mm)

36.7

443

<34.7

>8.3

>105.9

51.3

384

<42.9

>7.4

>117.5

71.5

115.4

80.9

112.2

90.1

strata with > 75%, in contrast to the soft clay and


clay layer surrounding pile can lead all of the behavior
of pile group settlement to improvement. Under these
two conditions of compressible strata, the actual effect
on the behavior of pile group settlement caused by the
thick sand layers around pile has evident distinction.
From previously described discussion, the following analysis can be obtained.
(1) In the condition of compressible strata with
3 > 50%, the advantageous effect of thick sand
layers around pile on the behavior of pile group
settlement has disappeared.
(2) In the condition of compressible strata 3 > 50%,
whether thick sand layers or soft clay and clay layers surrounding pile, the driven pile group settlement behavior shows close characteristics, namely
on the whole possesses low level of completion
settlement ratio, long time for settlement stabilization, high observed settlement at stabilization
and high settlement after completion. However,
the driven pile group settlement behavior for compressible strata with > 75% is in opposition to
that for compressible strata with 3 > 50%.
(3) The distinctions of composition of compressible
strata have significant effect of thick sand layers
around pile on pile group settlement behavior. The
effect of the thick sand layers around pile decrease
as the value of 3 increases of or the value of
decreases; Contrarily, the effect increases as the
value of 3 decreases or the value of increases.
6

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the comparison of the settlement measurement data of high-rise building supported by pile
foundation in Shanghai, conclusions are drawn as
follows:
(1) When the compressive strata are mainly composed of quasi-sand ( > 75% or 3 < 25%), thick
sand layers around pile exert obvious influence
on reducing the settlement of pile group and

improving the behavior of settlement. This is in


accordance with the results of measurement of settlement behavior of elevated road supported by
driven pile foundation. When plastic clay layers
have a relatively large proportion in the compressible strata (3 > 50%), the effect on the settlement
of pile group and its behavior induced by the thick
sand layer around pile will disappear. Therefore, it
reveals that the function of thick sand layer around
pile decrease as the value of 3 increases.
(2) When soil circumstances around pile are both of
the existence of thick sand layer, the behavior
of pile group settlement in two different compositions of compressible strata (i.e. > 75%
or 3 > 50%) appear to be in the opposite tendency. This further proves that it is a concept
with widespeed significance that the compressible strata (i.e. deformation performance and soil
type of compressible strata) always play a leading
role for the basic characteristics of pile group settlement. Even though there are thick sand layers
around pile, the concept is also without exception.
(3) Engineer and technicians in shanghai have held
the more popular point of view that the existence
of shallow sand deposits around pile will lead to
decrease the pile group settlement significantly.
The analysis in this paper, on the one hand, provide
prerequisite condition for the point of view, and on
the other hand, expands to the extent of the basic
characteristics for pile group settlement.
(4) The study results mentioned above, which are
based on the measured settlement data on driven
pile group confined to the pile length at a range of
20 m35 m, can be used to explain the reason why
driven pile group composed of super-long piles
with the tip reaching the layer 2 or layer possess the settlement characteristics similar to that in
which compressible strata are mainly composed of
quasi-sand layers and thick sand layers are located
in shallow depths. In the circumstances, the layers
of 1 or 2 can play a role as the shallow sand
layers around pile.

211

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

REFERENCES
Castelli, F., Maugeri, M., 2002. Simplified Nonlinear Analysis for Settlement Prediction of Pile Groups, America.
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 128, pp. 7684.
Chen, R.P., Lin, D.S., Chen, Y.M., 2003. Some problems in
settlement calculation of pile groups, China. Chinese Civil
engineering Journal, Vol. 39, pp. 8994.
Dai, R.L., Chen, H., Yu, Y.Y., 2001. The analysis of soil properties and settlement of pile foundation of shanghai highrise building, China. Chinese Journal of Geotechnical
Engineering, Vol. 23, pp. 627630.

Gao, D.Z., 1992. Theory and practice of soft soil engineering,


China. China building publisher, Beijing.
Prakoso, W.A., Kulhawy, F.H., 2001. Contribution to piled
raft foundation design, America. Journal of Geotechnical
and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 127, pp. 1724.
Zhang, D., Chen, Z.C., Yao, X.Q., 1999. The effect of pile
construction method on pile foundation settlement,China.
Journal of Tongji University, Vol. 27, pp. 723727.
Zhou, H.B., 2004. Study of effect of pile type and construction
technology on pile behavior, China. Ph.D. thesis, Tongji
university, Shanghai.

212

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Analyzing the static tests of boring piles through CFA technology


A. Zh. Zhusupbekov & Y. Ashkey
Geotechnical Institute, L.N. Gumilyev Eurasian National University, Astana, Kazakhstan

V.N. Popov
JSC Karaganda GIIZ and K, Karaganda, Kazakhstan

A.J. Belovitch & G.A. Saltanou


Corporation Bazis-A, ltd, Almaty, Kazakhstan

ABSTRACT: We carried out the static testing of boring piles, which was performed through geotechnology by
CFA on problematic soil grounds in Astana (the new capital of Kazakhstan). This paper summarizes the results
of static pile tests for compression vertical loads. As well, this article presents a comparison table of traditional
geotechnology and new geotechnology CFA during the performing of boring piles. This is important for the
estimation of geoecological effects of boring piles into difficult soil ground for buildings.

INTRODUCTION

Development in the new capital city of the Astana


Republic of Kazakhstan has resulted in strong and reliable bases for buildings and constructions. Erections
of large and high-altitude infrastructures are made
through the generosity of foreign investors, who have
been attracted to Astana. During construction, there
have been problems with designing in an economical
way, the device of the bases in difficult ground conditions. The decision to solve this problem should take
into consideration the following: geotechnology, quality and construction. Application of advanced global
technology CFA is duly provided at a given stage.
2

ENGINEERING GEOLOGICAL
CONDITIONS OF THE SITE

Based on the visual description of the ground and


the data of skilled field workers that comply with the
results of laboratory researchers, geological elements
in their sequences of bedding are as follows:
EGE-1.
EGE-2.
EGE-3.

Filling the earth with loam, sand and rubble.


Uncovering all holes.
Brown loamy soil, half stiff, with interlayer
of clayey ground.
Yellow alluvium clayey soil, hard, half hard
ground, with interlayer of loamy ground.

Based on the visual description of the grounds, the


results of the laboratory data to research the soils is

established, up to the investigated depth in a geological


structure of a site of researches take part, submitted
by loams and clay grounds. Above these are blocked
fillings of earthwork, with a capacity up to 1,00 m. All
grounds are water saturated that are opened on the site
by researchers.

3 THE METHOD OF BORING PILE TEST


The technology of testing the grounds by statical pressing in loadings on the boring pile was conducted in
agreement with the demands of GOST 5686-94 and
recommendations that were worked out by KGS,
Ltd. In the beginning of statical testing through boring piles in water-saturated ground bases that were
conducted, the concrete of piles were 80% of design
durability. Loading of piles was done in stages of
200 kN and 100 kN depending on the value of settlement and speed of stabilization of deformation by
hydraulic jack CMJ- 158A with carrying capacity
from 2000 kN, resting on anchor-persistent test bench,
which is shown in Figure 1.
The pressure in the jack was created with the help
of manual oil pump station MNSR-400 with power up
to 800 kg/sm2 , the moving of boring piles was fixed
by caving in-measurers of the type 6-PAO, which were
positioned on both sides of unmovable bearings with
the benchmark system. The first count out, performed
right after putting the loading, then consequently 4
counts out with an interval of 15 minutes, 2 counts out

213

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Settlement, mm

200

400

600

800

1000

1200

1400

1600

1800

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Load, kN
experimental dates;

the oretical dates

Figure 2. The graph for the dependences of settlement from


the loading for the boring experimental pile with a length of
11 m.

Figure 1. The scheme of anchor-persistent test bench 1


CFA pile; 2 basic beam; 3 auxiliary beam; 4 pipes for
welded seam; 5 jack; 6 - caving in-measurer; 7 - benchmark
system; 8 pump with manometer.

with an interval of 30 minutes and further for every


hour until the conditional stabilization of deformation
(by Bartolomey A.A., Omelchak I.M., and Yushkov
B.S.,1994). For the criterion of conditional stabilization of deformation was taken the speed of settlement
of boring piles on the given stage of loading that did
not exceed 0.1 mm during the last 12 hours of observation. The maximum loading on the experimental
piles was 1800 kN according to the recommendation
of KGS, Ltd until reaching the point of settlement at
8 cm. Boring piles required reactive efforts. Reloading
was conducted in stages 400 kN and 300 kN.

4 THE RESULTS OF THE BORING


PILE TEST
According to the results of the ground tests, by
static pressing in loadings for estimation, the bearing
capacity on ground received the dependences of settlement from loading for experimental piles (Figure 2)
and of length 11 m. The bearing layer for the grounds
under the piles is clay of EGE-3, which physicalmechanical characteristics are shown in table 1. The
experimental boring piles test for maximum loading

was taken at 1200 kN (L = 11 m), exceeding one and a


half times the loading (according to British standards)
that is taken from the building. The maximum settlement according to the results of experimental piles test
was 15.18 mm (L = 11 m), which reached the maximum value of settlings, equal to 16 mm, defined by the
equation 17 SNiP 2.02.03-85. It should be noted that
the settlement of piles at the given loadings have minimum values and the simple conclusion about the deformations of the base ground is untimely. The mentioned
settlements take place due to the pressing of concrete
or mistakes in the experiment. According to preliminary results, the experimental piles test using a particular value of the maximum resistance was taken at the
maximum experimental loading 1200 kN (L = 11 m).
For the final estimation of the bearing capacity on
the ground, experimental piles tests were held, using a
length of 14 m. Aside from the base which was taken
for the loading, this causes the maximum value of
the settlement for the mentioned type of the building, according to the enclosure 4 SNiP 2.02.01-83
8 cm. On the graph of settlement dependence from
loading the experimental pile, (Figure 2) it follows that
the maximum settlement 8 cm was reached at loading
1800 kN (L = 11 m). According to the results of statical tests, the value of the maximum resistance was
taken during the loading of 1500 kN (L = 11 m), resulting in which the pile settled at 16 mm. The results of the
received dependences of experimental piles show that
the maximum resistance at loading 1500 kN was not
reached. The authors on the basis of the analysis of the
results recommend taking the value of the maximum
resistance of piles, loading 1850 kN (L = 11 m). This
loading will not exceed the value of maximum settlements of 40 mm, regulated by the rules of normative
document. Secondly, only after supposedly through the
authors maximum resistance, the sharp increase of
pile settlement takes place.

214

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Table 1.

Characteristics of the grounds.

0.3m

The names of
the grounds

, g/cm3

c, kPa

E, MPa

EGE-1
Loam, EGE-2
Clay, EGE-3

2.02
1.86

33
35

18
21

7
7

11m

The values of physical-mechanical


characteristics

Figure 3. During load test of the boring experimental CFA


pile with the length 11 m.

5 THE NUMERICAL ANALYSIS BY FEM


The numerical analysis was provided by FEM for
elasto-plastic conditions. We used the characteristics
of soil ground (Table 1) for numerical calculation of
bearing capacity and settlement. The results show that
experimental and theoretical results are not so different (Figure 2). The numerical analysis are important
for understanding the interaction of CFA pile with soil
grounds.
6

CONCLUSIONS

Figure 4. The calculation mesh by FEM.

the absence of building dust). It is important for construction of bridges, civil engineering constructions
and other buildings.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to express their deep appreciation
to Professor Tadatsugu tanaka from Tokyo University,
Japan for his continual encouragement and scientific
discussion about numerical results by FEM.
REFERENCES

The application of boring piles through technology


CFA in engineering geological conditions of Astana
is rather effective in comparison with driven piles.
Bearing capacity of boring piles in length of 11 m
makes 1500 kN, that is, two times more than the bearing capacity of driven piles. For weak lenses and strong
grounds, it is necessary to apply boring pile technology. The installation of boring piles occurs without
influence on an environment (there is no vibration during the performing of piles using safe technology and

Bartolomey A.A., Omelchak I.M., and Yushkov B.S. (1994).


Prognosis of settlement of pile foundations, Moscow,
302p.
GOST 5686-94. (1994). Grounds. Methods of field tests by
piles, 42p.
SNiP 2.02.03-85.(1995) Pile foundations, 52p.
SNiP 2.02.01-83 (1995) Ground basements and Foundation
55p.
AshkeyY, The problems of estimation of bearing capacity of
piles Proc. of 5th Asian Yong Geotechnical Conference,
Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 161164.

215

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Large scale experiment and case study

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Soft Soil Engineering Chan & Law (eds)


2007 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN13 978-0-415-42280-2

Design and performance of a combined road-channel-dike structure


founded on very soft Bangkok clay
Prapote Boonsinsuk
AMEC Earth & Environmental, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT: Due to the large volume of wastewater generated in Samut Prakarn Province located about 20 km
east of Bangkok, Thailand, the Samut Prakarn Wastewater Management Project has been conceived to treat the
wastewater up to 525,000 m3 per day. The wastewater will be treated at a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in
Klong Dan which is located about 50 km east of Bangkok and about 0.5 km from the Gulf of Thailand. The WWTP
site is underlain by a 20 m to 25 m thick stratum of very soft to soft Bangkok clay of which the upper 12 m to 15 m of
the clay stratum can not support any earth embankment with more than 2 m in height without ground improvement.
A 4.2 m high dike structure, approximately 7 km in total length, is needed to form eight wastewater/sludge
ponds required for the wastewater treatment plant. The main functions of the dike structure are to contain
wastewater/sludge, to serve as access road, and in some sections, to function as channel for transporting influent or effluent. To serve the three functions required, a combined road-channel-dike structure is preferred for
construction cost saving and economic land use.
Various conceptual designs of the combined road-channel-dike structure had been developed and evaluated
prior to construction. Finally, a piled raft foundation was selected and designed by using a reinforced-concrete
structure supported by 12 m long pre-stressed concrete piles. During the construction from the years 2001 to
2003, slope failures were avoided by implementing the field observation method. Based on the results of 527
days of monitoring, the combined structure underwent the maximum vertical settlement of about 320 mm and
the highest lateral movement of about 100 mm, without slope and/or structural failures. This paper addresses
the different design approaches developed in the early stage, and the design and performance of the structure
selected for construction.

INTRODUCTION

The Samut Prakarn Wastewater Management Project


has been developed to treat up to 525,000 m3 per day
of wastewater produced primarily from factories in
Samut Prakarn Province located about 20 km east of
Bangkok, Thailand (Figure 1). The wastewater will be
collected from factories through a system of underground pipes and combined in a tunnel leading to the
wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) located in Klong
Dan, about 50 km east of Bangkok.
The influent will be discharged into three Pretreatment Ponds, each about 150 m by 340 m in plan area
(Figure 2), after which the pretreated influent will be
directed into three Aeration Basins, each about 150 m
by 250 m in plan area. The aerated wastewater will subsequently be pumped through the Mixed Liquor Pump

(Formerly, Geo-Technology Consultants Co., Ltd., Bangkok,


Thailand)

Station to be treated in the clarifiers. The treated effluent from the clarifiers will then be directed through
a channel and discharged into the Gulf of Thailand
through an ocean Outfall. The sludge will be collected
on site in two Biosolids Storage Ponds.
For all the eight containment ponds needed, the
maximum water depth of the ponds required will be
3.9 m which has to be achieved by constructing a
dike, or an excavation, or the combination of dike and
excavation.
Due to the low bearing capacity of the very soft clay
covering the site and construction difficulty, it would
be beneficial and cost effective to combine the dike,
access road and channel that are needed for containing and transporting the wastewater into one single
structure.
The site for the wastewater treatment plant in Klong
Dan is located in a marshy coastal area, about 0.5 km
from the Gulf of Thailand. The site is covered by a 20 m
to 30 m thick, very soft to hard, clay layer overlying an
8 m to 12 m thick, dense to very dense, sand layer. The

219

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

This paper describes the design concepts developed and evaluated for a 4.2 m high, combined roadchannel-dike structure at the commencement of the
project prior to selecting the most viable design concept. The final design of the combined road-channeldike structure is based on the piled raft foundation
concept using a reinforced-concrete structure supported by 12 m long pre-stressed piles which are driven
into the very soft clay. The structure will be able to
settle due to the ongoing regional land subsidence and
consolidation of the supporting clay stratum, without
causing any separation between the base of the structure and the supporting subgrade which, if occurred,
will lead to uncontrollable leakage.The design and performance of the combined road-channel-dike structure
are presented in this paper.
2

DESIGN CRITERIA

The combined road-channel-dike structure has to be


designed in accordance with the following criteria:
As a dike, the structure will have to contain
the wastewater in the ponds up to the maximum
water elevation of +3.5 m Mean Sea Level (MSL).
The bottom elevation of all containment ponds is
0.4 m MSL, leading to a maximum water depth
of 3.9 m. The existing ground surface elevation is
approximately +0.6 m MSL.
As a channel, the minimum dimension of the watercarrying section of the structure will have to be
3.0 m in order to transport the design wastewater
volume of 525,000 m3 per day.
As a road, the structure will typically have to support a design load of a single unit truck, according
to AASHTO Standard Truck (HS 2044) with a
rear axle load of 143 kN (32,000 pounds). Some
sections of the structure will have to be designed
to support cranes required for lifting heavy equipment. The clear width of the road traffic surface
will have to be a minimum of 4.0 m.
The highest seawater elevation anticipated during
the service life will be +2.75 m MSL plus an
additional allowance of 0.20 m for wave height.
The service life of the combined road-channel-dike
structure will be 80 years.
The maximum land subsidence due to deep well
pumping for the 80-year service life is anticipated
to be 1.5 m. The regional land subsidence rate
typically ranges from 20 mm to 50 mm per year.
Constructability of the structure on the very soft
clay and tight construction time schedule will have
to be considered.

Figure 1. Site location plan.

Figure 2. Layout of wastewater treatment plant.

upper 12 m to 15 m of the clay layer consists of very


soft Bangkok clay with undrained shear strengths ranging from 5 kPa to 30 kPa. It is common that an earth
embankment built higher than 2 m at the site without any proper ground treatment will likely collapse
because of low bearing capacity or slope instability.

The total area of the wastewater treatment plant


(WWTP) is approximately 320 ha, some portions of

220

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

SUBSURFACE SOIL CONDITIONS

Figure 3. Typical soil profile.

which are covered with mangroves. The general average elevation of the site is +0.60 m above the mean
sea level. Due to its coastal location, the site is subject
to daily fluctuation of seawater level and covered with
a thick stratum of very soft to soft marine clay deposit.
The subsurface soil conditions of the WWTP site
were investigated by more than 50 boreholes drilled
to a maximum depth of 40 m and more than 30 insitu vane shear strength tests. Typically, the soil profile
across the WWTP (Figure 3) consists of a 20 m to 25 m
thick layer of very soft to soft Bangkok clay overlying
a 5 m to 10 m thick, firm to hard, clay layer which is
underlain by an 8 m to 12 m thick, dense to very dense,
sand layer.
The soil stratum that causes problems for the design
and construction of the combined road-channel-dike
structure is the top, 12 m to 15 m thick, very soft clay
stratum. The liquid limits of the very soft clay typically
range from 90 to 130 and the plastic limits from 30 to
50, while the natural water contents vary from 100% to
130%. The variations with depth of the average values
of liquid limit, plastic limit and natural water content
are shown on Figure 4.
The in-situ vane shear strengths of the very soft clay
range from 5 kPa near the ground surface to about
30 kPa at 12 m to 15 m depths. The undrained shear
strength profiles shown on Figure 5 provide the average values of the undrained shear strength measured by
in-situ vane shear testing and unconfined compression
testing.

Figure 4. Variation of liquid limit/plastic limit/water content


with depth.

221

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 6. Variation of overconsolidation ratio with pond


depth.

Figure 5. Undrained shear strength profile.

Based on one-dimensional consolidation tests carried out on undisturbed soil samples at various depths,
the over-consolidation ratios of the clay at the WWTP
range from about 0.7 to 1.7 as shown on Figure 6. On
the average, the clay should be considered as normally
consolidated. The compression ratios of the clay typically vary from 0.3 to 0.4. The unit weights of the
very soft to soft clay normally range from 14 kN/m3
to 16 kN/m3 .
4

PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED BY DESIGN

Due to the facts that the wastewater treatment plant site


is underlain by a 20 m to 25 m thick stratum of very
soft to soft clay and is subject to the ongoing regional
land subsidence caused by deep well pumping, the
following problems with respect to geotechnical engineering have to be solved in the design of the combined
road-channel-dike structure:
The maximum height of an earth embankment that
can be built on the very soft clay covering the
site is about 2 m without slope stability or bearing capacity failure. This fact has been proven
from many failures of earth embankments and
roads constructed at the site. The combined road-

222

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

channel-dike structure, which has to be higher


than 2 m, can not be constructed using an earth
structure without a major undertaking of ground
improvement.
The rate of the ongoing regional land subsidence
caused by deep well pumping ranges approximately
from 20 mm to 50 mm per year. As a result, if a
dike structure is founded on long piles that are typically founded within the sand stratum, separation
between the base of the structure and the underlying
soil subgrade will lead to leakage of the wastewater
from the containment pond. For the design service
life of 80 years, the maximum land subsidence is
anticipated to be about 1.5 m, leading to a possible separation of 0.5 m high underneath the base
of the dike structure. The 0.5 m separation is the
difference in land subsidence between the ground
surface and the sand structure. Such a separation
will be very difficult to design against leakage.
The exposed ground surface within the site can
not support heavy construction equipment without
ground improvement (e.g., cement/lime stabilization of the surface layer, placement of thick sand
and gravel layers, etc.). For the total length of about
7 km planned for the combined road-channel-dike
structure, the ground improvement required to support heavy construction equipment will be time
consuming and increase construction cost.
Ground improvement techniques that require heavy
machinery, high preloading embankment, and/or

Figure 7a. Conceptual Design of Road-Channel-Dike Structure Founded on Long Piles.

Figure 7b. Conceptual design of road-channel-dike structure founded on improved ground.

An earth structure supported by improved ground


(Figure 7b). A few alternatives for ground improvement may be feasible, e.g., preloading with prefabricated vertical drains, short piles with enlarged
pile caps or tension layers (i.e., piled embankment),
lime/cement columns, etc.
A reinforced-concrete structure supported by short
piles founded within the very soft clay layer, i.e.,
piled raft foundation (Figure 7c).

lengthy time for preloading are not practical due to


very soft ground conditions and construction time
constraints.
5

DESIGN ALTERNATIVES

In general, there are three main design approaches that


may be feasible for the design and construction of the
combined road-channel-dike structure. The conceptual design of each approach is illustrated in Figures
7a to 7c while the advantages/disadvantages of each
approach are compared in Table 1. The three design
approaches are as follows:
A reinforced-concrete structure supported by long
piles driven into the sand stratum located at about
30 m to 35 m depth below grade (Figure 7a).

The three approaches were designed based on the


same initial road surface elevation of +4.2 m MSL
and the same initial pond bottom elevation of 0.4 m
MSL for direct comparison. Each conceptual structure
was 3.6 m high above the average ground elevation of
+0.6 m MSL and the water in the pond was at the
same depth of 3.9 m. The elevations of each structure

223

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 7c. Conceptual design of road-channel-dike structure founded on short piles.


Table 1.

Comparison of various design approaches.

Performance/
Constructability
Long-term
settlement
Potential for
leakage
through
structures
base
Potential for
leakage
through the
structure
Long-term
structural
integrity
Long-term
maintenance
effort
Foundation
construction
preparation

ReinforcedConcrete
Structure
Supported
by Long
Piles

Earth
Embankment
Supported by
Improved
Ground

ReinforcedConcrete
Structure
Supported
by Short
Piles

Small

High

High

Very high

Very low

Low

Very low

High

Low

Very stable

Potential for
local collapse

Very stable

Low

High

Low

Require
ground
surface
improvement
to support
heavy
equipment.

Require
ground
surface
improvement
to support
heavy
equipment

Use light
equipment.
No ground
surface
improvement
required.

at the completion of construction in the years 2002


2003 are compared with the elevations at the end of the
80 year design life (around the year 2083) as shown
on Figures 7a to 7c. For the 80 year design life, the
ground subsidence was considered to be 1.5 m and

the seawater level was estimated to be at the highest


elevation of +2.75 m MSL.
For the structure founded on long piles driven into
the sand layer (Figure 7a), the ground surface would
settle by 1.5 m in 80 years due to regional land subsidence, while the road surface elevation at the top
of the structure would settle by 1.0 m. The difference
of 0.5 m was the consolidation settlement of the clay
layer which would not be experienced by the longpiled structure. Such a difference in settlement would
lead to a 0.5 m gap between the underside of the longpiled structure and the underlying ground, potentially
causing continuous leakage of the retained wastewater.
On the contrary, the other two approaches (Figures 7b
and 7c) which were founded directly on the clay layer
would settle an additional 0.5 m in 80 years due to consolidation of the very soft clay under the applied loads
of the structure. For design purposes, the total settlement of the structure founded on the clay layer was
considered to be 2.0 m in 80 years while the settlement
of the structure founded on long piles was 1.0 m.
At the end of the 80 year design life, the road surface elevation of the structures founded on the clay
layer (Figures 7b and 7c) would be +2.2 m MSL which
would be below the estimated +2.75 m MSL elevation
of seawater. Therefore, these structures would have to
be designed with the road surface elevation of +4.8 m
MSL at the completion of construction in order to stay
above the seawater level during the 80 year design life.
Prior to selecting the most feasible design, the
cost and the constructability of each design approach
had been carefully compared. Finally, the reinforcedconcrete structure supported by short piles (i.e.,
piled raft foundation) had been chosen for design
and construction due to its advantages in functionality, constructability and construction/maintenance
costs.

224

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 8. Final design of road-channel-dike structure used in construction.

DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF THE COMBINED


ROAD-CHANNEL-DIKE STRUCTURE

Using the piled raft foundation concept, a reinforcedconcrete structure supported by short piles has been
conceived. The length of the short piles is selected to
be 12 m in order to achieve reasonable pile resistance
while the pile tip is still embedded in the very soft clay
stratum. As a result, the structure is supported by both
the underlying clay and piles, and will settle with the
underlying clay, thereby preventing leakage of retained
wastewater through the underside of the structure.
The final design of the combined road-channel-dike
structure is shown on Figure 8. The basic dimensions
of the structure are 4 m wide road surface, 12 m wide
base at the ground level, and 4.2 m high above ground.
The structure is located 5 m away from a 1:10 (vertical
: horizontal) side slope of a 1 m deep excavation. The
total height of the pond is therefore 5.2 m from the
base of the pond to the top road surface of the structure.
The structure is designed to accommodate a maximum
settlement of 2.0 m in 80 years.
The basic combined road-channel-dike structure is
composed of a reinforced-concrete box supported by
pre-stressed concrete piles. The base of the combined
structure is tied monolithically to a series of 12 m
long pre-stressed I piles. The box of the structure
is formed by two walls, a base and a top floor cover.
The core of the box is hollow to function as channel

or is filled with clay to function as dike. The walls


of the structure are strengthened by wall/beam stiffeners for channels (hollow box for water flow) and
beam stiffeners for dikes (clay-core installed inside
the box).
Each longitudinal section of the combined structure is typically 10 m in length (on plan) as shown on
Figure 9 and is linked to adjacent sections by keyed
vertical and horizontal expansion joints that are structurally separated from each other. Each section of the
structure can move independently, but the movement
is limited by the keyed joints.
The 12 m long piles are driven into the very soft clay
layer and are therefore subject to settlement. As such,
the combined road-channel-dike structure will behave
like a piled raft foundation that can settle vertically,
move laterally, tilt, and/or combination.
The combined road-channel-dike structure is
designed to sustain a total settlement of 2.0 m during
the design life of 80 years (i.e., 0.5 m consolidation settlement of the underlying clay and 1.5 m regional land
subsidence). The ground elevations of the structure at
the completion of construction in the years 20022003
and the end of the 80-year design life are compared in
Figure 7c.
Each pond/basin is designed to perform individually, without depending on the water level in the
adjacent pond/basins for stability. Lowering wastewater/sludge level in one pond/basin while keeping the

225

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 9. Isometric view of road-channel-dike structure used in construction.

wastewater/sludge levels in adjacent pond/basins is


permissible, provided that it is conducted gradually
and the difference in the wastewater/sludge levels in
the surrounding pond/basins is maintained within the
allowable limit.
In order to prevent leakage from the channels, each
vertical joint is covered by waterstop, joint fillers
and a clay core installed between two wall stiffeners,
while the horizontal joint is filled with waterstop, joint
fillers and bentonite. The leakage from the pond/basin
through the vertical joints is prevented by the clay
core installed between two wall stiffeners covering the
vertical joints. As for the dikes, leakage through the
vertical expansion joints is prevented by the clay fill
inside the reinforced-concrete box structure and joint
filling materials.
The combined road-channel-dike structure acts as
earth dikes/dams, although it is a reinforced-concrete
structure. As such, some seepage of wastewater from
the pond/basins through the combined structures and
the underlying clay is anticipated, similar to the seepage normally occurred in earth dikes/dams. Seepage
can be identified when the ground adjacent to the combined road-channel-dike is damp to wet without visible
free flowing water.
Unlike earth dikes/dams, the rigidity of the
reinforced-concrete structure makes it easy to locate
the source of leakage which occurs when free water
flowing from the pond/basin is visible on the downstream ground surface. The source of leakage should

normally be the upstream location of the combined


structure directly opposite to the location that the
leakage appears. Once the source of leakage is identified, proper remedial measures (e.g., grouting) can be
implemented to mitigate the leakage.
It should be mentioned that the project is a design
build-operate project. As such, the design of the
combined road-channel-dike structure has been evaluated during and after construction. Any design and
construction adjustments required can be carried out
during the maintenance period.
7

The combined road-channel-dike structure was constructed from the years 2001 to 2003. The ground
surface at the base of the structure was prepared by
stripping, grading and compacting (kneading) of the
clay subgrade. The 12 m long piles were installed by
using light-weight, framed, percussion pile driving rigs
typically used in Bangkok. The piles were easily driven
to the required elevation. All equipment used in the
construction was controlled by limiting the ground
pressure not to exceed 20 kPa. The superstructure
was subsequently constructed using the normal construction practice for constructing reinforced-concrete
structure. The details of construction have been presented by Boonsinsuk and Chareonsuphong (2001 in
Thai language).

226

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE

Photograph 1. View of road-channel-dike structure and


adjacent ground.

Figure 10. Block numbers used in monitoring of structural


movements around Aeration basin No. 1.

Photograph 2. View of road-channel-dike structure and


stored water.

The completed structure, illustrated on Photographs


1 and 2, performs satisfactorily in accordance with
the design criteria. The first pond filled was Aeration Basin 1 as shown on the plan in Figures 2 and
10. The aeration basin was filled with water from the
canal passing through the north of the basin. The water
was primarily seawater and was relatively clear of suspended solids. Subsequently, the three Pretreatment
Ponds and the other two Aeration Basins were filled
with the same water. The vertical and lateral movements of the combined road-channel-dike structure
were surveyed on a regular basis, using the centerline
and the two walls of the structure as reference survey
points for monitoring movements.
The movements of the combined road-channel-dike
structure surrounding Aeration Basin 1 had been regularly monitored for the longest period of almost two
years. One of the highest movements was measured in
Block No. 47 along Line Y3 (Figure 10) as shown on
Figure 11. During the impoundment of Aeration Basin
1, the maximum water level in the basin reached Elevation 3.2 m MSL above the bottom of the basin which
was constructed at Elevation 0.4 m MSL. During
the first 200 days (cumulative days from 2 December

2001) after pond impoundment, the maximum vertical


settlement was approximately 240 mm while the maximum lateral movement (away from Aeration Basin 1)
was about 120 mm. The vertical movements of the two
walls of the structure were slightly different, indicating
negligible tilting.
When Aeration Basin 2 was filled with water to
the same water level as Aeration Basin 1, the vertical
settlement of Block No. 47 increased slightly while
the lateral movement was reduced by approximately
20 mm. The combined road-channel-dike structure
was therefore responsive to the water levels in the
ponds/basins located both sides of the structure. The
fact that the lateral movement can be reduced by
increasing water level in the adjacent pond/basin indicates that the soil-structure interaction is still in its
elasto-plastic range.
An example of the vertical settlement profile and the
lateral movement of Line Y3 (Figure 10) is shown on
Figures 12 and 13, respectively, at the cumulative Day
527. It can be noticed that the vertical settlement along
Line Y3, almost 250 m long, was not uniform, possibly due to the variation in soil properties. A few blocks
of the structure underwent the maximum settlement of

227

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Figure 11. Variations of pond water level/vertical settlement/lateral movement for Block No.49 Line Y3 with
cumulative days.

about 320 mm and the lowest settlement occurred near


the junctions of the structures (e.g., Block No. 58 and
Block No. 33 on Figure 10) which were constructed
with larger piled raft sizes. The lateral movements
along Line Y3 were highest at about 100 mm in the
central portion of Line Y3 and decreased toward the
junctions.
Leakages of the water retained in the pond/basins
occurred only through the expansion joints. There was
no evidence of any leakage through the base of the
structure, indicating a tight contact between the base of
the structure and the supporting ground. Of about 200
expansion joints along the perimeters of the structures
(i.e., the exterior perimeters of the three aeration basins
and the three pretreatment ponds), about 75 joints
showed signs of seepage of the water retained in the
pond/basins to the exterior ground surfaces. The signs
of seepage ranged from damp ground, wet ground,
and flowing water (leakage). About 60 of the 75 joints
showed damp ground and about 10 joints showed wet
ground surface adjacent to the joints. About five (5)
joints located at the junctions of the structures showed
leakages with water flowing through the joints to the
adjacent ground. These leakages were caused by the
excessive opening of the joints due to differential settlement between the junction (e.g., Block No. 58) and
the adjacent blocks. Leakages with flowing water had
been successfully repaired by grouting. Other seepages/leakages that showed signs of increasing flow
rate were grouted. It should be noted that due to the
delay of implementing the project, clear water had
been stored for almost two years in the pond/basins
instead of wastewater as planned. Typically wastewater

Figure 12. Settlement Profile along Line Y3 at Cumulative Day 527.

Figure 13. Variation of lateral movement along line Y3 at cumulative day 527.

228

2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

contains high concentrations of suspended solids that


will eventually clog the joint filling materials, thereby
reducing/mitigating leakages.
8

a method can be used because the design and construction of the road-channel-dike structure are based
on a design-build-operate contract. The structure had
been constructed without any slope failure and had
performed satisfactorily.

CONCLUSION

Due to the difficulty in constructing high earth dikes


required for containment ponds in the wastewater
treatment plant located at Klong Dan, a reinforced concrete structure, instead of traditional earth structures,
has been designed using the piled raft foundation concept. Such a design made it possible to construct a
4.2 m high dike structure on